Occupying the Academy: Just How Important is Diversity Work in Higher Education? (Hardback)
  • Occupying the Academy: Just How Important is Diversity Work in Higher Education? (Hardback)

Occupying the Academy: Just How Important is Diversity Work in Higher Education? (Hardback)

(editor), (editor), (editor)
Hardback 278 Pages / Published: 02/08/2012
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In the wake of the election of President Obama, many diversity scholars and practitioners imagined that renewed commitments to educational equity and justice were just around the corner. Unfortunately, the opposite has become the Obama-era reality. Across the country, equity and diversity workers at all levels in university and colleges, but especially Chief Diversity Officers in public institutions, are under assault. Is this assault a result of a pre-meditated and carefully calculated conservative political agenda or the unfortunate consequence of how largely white, politically conservative-and the power bases they represent-are expressing their anger about the changing racial landscape in the United States? This volume explores and deconstructs the reasons for this assault from various perspectives. This volume also illustrates how the national assault on equity and diversity has resulted in a continuum. At one end are "diversity-friendly" institutions that are benignly neglecting equity/diversity efforts because of state budget crises. At the other end of the spectrum are the deliberate efforts being made to systematically dismantle equity and diversity work in especially politically conservative states.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442212725
Number of pages: 278
Weight: 553 g
Dimensions: 235 x 158 x 26 mm

This book looks courageously at diversity in higher education through critical, social justice-oriented theoretical lenses. The strength of this edited volume rests in the various case studies as told from the perspective of academic leaders specifically employed as Chief Diversity Officers, Mid-Level Administrators, and faculty members. These case studies uncover the persistent challenges of racism in higher education. This volume also highlights the incredible resistance and resilience, embedded in both individual and collective agency, that can move institutions of higher education forward. While asking, `Just How Important Is Diversity Work in Higher Education?' this volume responds by illuminating its potential role to genuinely affirm our humanity, to pursue continual (institutional) improvement, and to realize the call to justice. -- Francisco A. Rios, Western Washington University
The editors of this volume take on the ambitious project of examining race and racism in higher education. This volume particularly appeals to those interested in applying a variety of critical lenses to explain the persistence of racial inequality and it's relationship to white privilege. -- Adrienne D. Dixson, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
To explore race/racism in the Obama era is to question how race/racism could persist simultaneously with the election of the country's first black president. The conversations around President Obama buttressed against the stories of equity/diversity workers in this volume are a constant reminder that the journey to a society devoid of race/racism is ongoing. However, with the type of honesty and courage represented in this volume...we may yet get there. After all, the journey to the promised land requires an acceptance of the past, energy to redress the patterns that perpetuate discrimination in the present, so the future looks very different. -- Kimberly L. King-Jupiter, Albany State University
Occupying the Academy is a compelling and important examination of the realities of race and racism in higher education. It brings to light how inequity not only continues to manifest itself through institutions, but the subversive and shifting composition of whiteness as a powerful and controlling entity in the workplace. Some readers will be shocked, others will be validated; all readers will continue to be disappointed by the enabled assaults on equity/diversity workers and their work. -- Thandeka K. Chapman, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Occupying the Academy comprises a variety of case studies of diversity work at different public colleges and university, illustrating a broad range of institutional attitudes toward diversity work -- from nominal support to outright hostility. * Inside Higher Ed *
In Occupying the Academy: Just How Important Is Diversity Work in Higher Education?," the authors describe eight configurations of diversity structures they found in use at colleges and universities. The configurations ranged from having he president claim the additional title or responsibility, either to foster or subvert the diversity effort, to having real diversity infrastructure in evidence. The "to-do list of issues that the people Christine Clark, one of the book's editors, calls "diversity workers" must tackle are becoming more varied and complex, reaching far beyond racial/ethnic diversity or gender equity. * The Chronicle of Higher Education *

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