Having a Diversity Officer Doesn’t Mean Mission Accomplished

Even for those colleges and universities that value diversity to the extent that they have a dedicated officer or dean of diversity, problems of inclusion and support for faculty and students of color may still be an institutional challenge. A single officer or the mere presence of faculty of color does not solve such issues in one fell swoop.

That was the consensus of a panel of faculty and senior administrators of color that discussed institutional issues regarding race at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) annual conference Thursday afternoon.

Inclusion, in terms of numbers, is one of the most basic problems that has historically dogged institutions of all stripes. Panelists said that colleges and universities must continue to work to increase diversity among the student body, faculty and administration.

A related problem, panelists said, was the relatively low premium institutions placed on valuable “service” work such as advising and mentoring. Several on the panel, moderated by Diverse co-founder Dr. Frank Matthews, said that they found themselves spending much of their time advising students, formally and informally.

Dr. Sabrina Wesley-Nero, visiting professor of education, inquiry and justice at Georgetown University, said that students of color sought her out simply for moral support. <Read more.>

Via Catherine Morris, Diverse Issues in Higher Education.