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ERIC Number: ED523158
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 145
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-5937-3
Observations, Values, and Beliefs about Ethnic/Racial Diversity by Members of Community College Faculty Search Committees
Fujii, Stephanie J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University
As open-door institutions, community colleges provide access to students from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. Yet while enrollment of students of color in community colleges continues to increase, representation by faculty of color has not. This qualitative study investigated community college faculty search committee members' implicit and subjective observations, values, and beliefs about ethnic/racial diversity in order to gain an understanding of how they may influence the faculty hiring process. The researcher interviewed 12 subjects--administrators and faculty members at three community colleges in a large district in the southwest region of the United States--who served on faculty search committees from 2006-2009. Findings revealed three major themes: (a) the communication of diversity; (b) search committee dynamics with the sub-themes of role of the chair, role of administration, and the issue of time; and (c) subjects' observations, values, and beliefs, with the sub-themes of conflict, the idea of a "good fit," colorblindness, self-perception of having attained enlightenment about diversity, and the blaming of applicant pools. Discussion of the results was facilitated by utilizing three critical race theory constructs: (a) the pervasiveness of racism as ordinary and normal, (b) the use of Whiteness as the normative standard, and (c) the rejection of liberalism. The findings support the literature's assertion that colleges and faculty search committees can publically claim to value diversity but engage in practices that are incongruent with such claims. Despite the best institutional rhetoric on faculty diversity, failure to address search committee members' values, beliefs, and behaviors will result in little change. Communication and effective leadership can help increase faculty of color representation at community colleges. Communication about the relevance and practical application of diversity should be strong and consistent. Additionally, search committee definitions of "qualified" need to be challenged specific to members' colorblindness and beliefs in the effectiveness of meritocracy. Moreover, leadership is needed to advocate and hold people responsible and accountable for inclusive practices. Critical race theory served as a useful theoretical framework to identify the obstacles and analyze policies and power structures that facilitate underrepresentation of faculty of color in community colleges. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States