ERIC Number: ED322966
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jul-9
The Multicultural Urban Community College: Conflict and Achievement.
The challenge for community colleges is two-fold: to provide relevant training to maintain their competitiveness and to do it for an increasingly diverse population. Furthermore, the advent of the information revolution has placed new demands on education as one of the primary means of access to economic well-being and upward mobility. Administering a community college such as San Francisco City College, where the student body is ethnically diverse and heavily weighted in favor of minorities, entails particular problems and challenges. Problems arise out of differences in values, leading to different priorities in the allocation of resources for programs and services. In particular, conflicts arise when the needs and desires of students clash with those of faculty, or when the needs and interests of faculty become a source of friction with administrators. For example, in hiring decisions, faculty are often more concerned with the academic accomplishments of candidates, while administrators and students may be more concerned with bringing in faculty who are sensitive to the needs of minority students. Racial/ethnic loyalty plays a part as well. In the San Francisco Community College District, such conflicts are seen as inevitable, but not necessarily destructive. To minimize negative effects, the district emphasizes leadership that is cognizant of and sensitive to the following: (1) the unique qualities of a multi-ethnic, multicultural urban institution; (2) well-defined and fair decision-making processes; (3) and the involvement of community advisory committees made up of representatives of the various ethnic and cultural communities in San Francisco. District successes, such as increasing enrollments, consistently large numbers of transfer students, and broad minority representation among the faculty, demonstrate that ethnically diverse groups of people can work together effectively. (GFW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual International Conference on Leadership Development of the League for Innovation in Community Colleges, "Leadership 2000" (2nd, San Francisco, CA, July 8-11, 1990).