Facilitating Diversity in Higher Education

While the lack of diversity in higher education is not news (and we’ve posted about it here before: Diversity in Higher Education), per se, Marketplace just did a piece on diversity among university faculty. Check out the story here.  The story brings up important questions. For example, how do we attract and retain students of color?  How do we train faculty to overcome biases to include and support students and faculty of color?  How do we teach students to attend to diversity issues in their practice and research? What do you think?

Widener is hosting workshops on campus that might help each of us contribute to this conversation. See the details (and links to relevant publications) below, and please consider joining in on this local effort to diversify higher education. As the Marketplace story highlights, local efforts can help to increase diversity in higher education!


Diversity Image

Defining Full Inclusion: A Framework for Learning and Student Success


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

University Center, Webb Room


Keynote Speaker: Tia McNair

Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC


Campus environments reflect the diversity of American society, but do they represent the concept of full inclusion for all? What are the barriers, challenges, and opportunities facing educators who strive to create a high-quality learning environment that values and embraces the multiple identities of students, faculty, and staff? How can campus leaders engage in the “courageous conversations” that will lead to visible and sustainable change?

Using findings from the Association of American College and Universities’ framework for Making Excellence Inclusive and its new publication: Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: A Campus Guide for Self-Study and Planning, Tia McNair will engage participants in small group discussions addressing critical questions about how to develop equity-focused, student-centered learning frameworks, and campus-based change agendas. Links to the publications are below:



Dr. Tia Brown McNair oversees both funded projects and AAC&U’s continuing programs on equity, inclusive excellence, high-impact educational practices, and student success, including AAC&U’s Network for Academic Renewal series of yearly working conferences. McNair also directs AAC&U’s Summer Institute on High-Impact Educational Practices and Student Success. McNair serves as the project director for AAC&U’s “Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success,” and a newly funded LEAP project “Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success.” She is a co-PI on another project “Advancing Underserved Student Success through Faculty Intentionality in Problem-Centered Learning.” McNair chaired AAC&U’s Equity Working Group that was part of the General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) project that represented a large-scale, systematic effort to provide “design principles” for 21st-century learning and long-term student success. She is a co-author on the publication Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices. McNair earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and English at James Madison University and holds an M.A. in English from Radford University and a doctorate in higher education administration from George Washington University.

Sponsored By: The Office for Community Engagement and Diversity Initiatives, Office of the Provost, and the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment


Contributed by Brooke Wells, Ph.D.