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Transforming Understandings of Diversity in Higher Education

We asked the editors of our new book, Transforming Understandings of Diversity in Higher Education, “what makes this book important?”. Here’s what they told us:

The book includes chapters from nationally recognized scholars whose research has opened up new understandings of the complexities of diversity in higher education. Each scholar was asked to contribute their most innovative thinking drawing on their current and cutting-edge research agenda.

The editors sought original material that relates to three themes — demography, democracy and discourse, and shows the scholar’s progress in continuing study of the topic. In this way, the collection of chapters in this book may be viewed as the next “big thing” for each of the scholars. Specifically, we asked the chapter authors, “If you had the ear of all of higher education, what would you say about diversity in higher education with the goal of prompting social and/or institutional change?”

The book also provides an insight into how these scholars wrestle with complicated topics that have shaped them as individuals and as scholars. Through a unique process, each chapter author was interviewed by a graduate student with similar research interests. The graduate student asked the chapter authors to reflect on the paths their scholarship has taken to this point in their careers and to speak openly about their professional aspirations. The graduate students were particularly interested in the ways in which faculty who focus on diversity strive for and/or obtain tenure and promotion. At this point, the graduate students wrote a chapter for readers regarding the interview with these esteemed diversity scholars.

We believe this unique approach may help to place each piece of scholarship in a personal and professional context, in effect illustrating one of the basis premises of the book: Conceptions of diversity involve issues of personal and collective identity.



Transforming Understandings of Diversity in Higher Education
Demography, Democracy, and Discourse

Edited by Penny A. Pasque, Noe Ortega, John C. Burkhardt, and Marie P. Ting
Foreword by Phillip Bowman

Featured contributors include Uma M. Jayakumar, Jarrett T. Gupton, Michael R. Woodford, Angela M. Locks, Michelle Samura, Allison Lombardi, Jerlando F. L. Jackson, Tamara Nichele Stevenson, and Courtney Carter.

The National Center of Institutional Diversity has also created a Youtube playlist to accompany the book chapters.

About the Editors

Penny A. Pasque is the Brian E. & Sandra O’Brien Presidential Professor and Program Area Coordinator of Adult and Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is also an affiliate faculty with Women’s and Gender Studies and the Center for Social Justice at OU. Currently, Penny serves as the associate editor for The Journal of Higher Education. She is also the primary investigator for the National Study on Women in Higher Education and Student Affairs.

John C. Burkhardt has directed the National Center for Institutional Diversity since 2013. He also is a professor of clinical practice in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan and serves as special assistant to the provost for university engagement. He was the founding director of the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, which he led from 2000 to 2013.

Marie P. Ting serves as associate director at the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) at the University of Michigan. Marie joined the NCID after serving as a program manager at the University of Michigan’s Center for Educational Outreach (CEO) which is designed to promote pathways and access to higher education for underserved communities. Prior to returning to the University of Michigan, Marie served as university director of student affairs and special programs at the City University of New York (CUNY).

Noe Ortega is Managing Director of National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good at University of Michigan. He is also Assistant Director at the National Center for Institutional Diversity.

For more about Transforming Understandings including a sample chapter and table of contents, visit the book page.


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