ERIC Number: ED354935
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Working with the "Only One" in the Division.
Jones, Betty B.
The call for greater diversity among college faculty and administrators is a prominent feature in the literature of higher education and especially of community colleges. For faculty members and administrators who may be the only, or the first, or even the token minority within their division, it is important to resolve what being the "only one" means and what opportunities it represents. Interviews with five African Americans, two Hispanics, one Native American, one Asian, two physically handicapped, and one female vocational education instructor, each identified as the "only ones" in their academic departments, combined with a review of the literature, helped to identify a number of issues that were common in the experiences of the "only ones." These issues include: (1) the comments or behavior of these individuals tended to be enlarged and generalized to the groups they represented, often leading to overachieving behavior; (2) the individuals often experienced social and professional isolation, often leading to feelings of loneliness; (3) they often encountered false assumptions and stereotypes, including prejudice and lack of professional respect or advancement from peers; (4) the individuals were expected to serve on multiple committees within their division to represent a minority perspective, and were also expected to serve as community leaders for their particular minority group; and (5) white and male privilege, the tyranny of the majority, racism, and biases were an accepted, if unrecognized norm. Among those interviewed, professional acknowledgement and respect, acknowledgement of individual uniqueness, recognition and utilization of expertise, professional trust, honest evaluations, and inclusion in collegial networks were identified as elements of the preferred professional environment. (PAA)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Alienation, College Administration, College Faculty, Collegiality, Community Colleges, Minority Groups, Peer Relationship, Physical Disabilities, Professional Development, Racial Bias, Racial Discrimination, Teacher Alienation, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Conditions, Tokenism, Two Year Colleges, Work Environment
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A