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ERIC Number: EJ791625
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 139
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 251
ISSN: ISSN-1551-6970
Are the Walls Really Down? Behavioral and Organizational Barriers to Faculty and Staff Diversity. ASHE Higher Education Report, Volume 33, Number 1
Evans, Alvin, Ed.; Chun, Edna Breinig, Ed.
ASHE Higher Education Report, v33 n1 p1-139 2007
This monograph focuses on the subtle behavioral and organizational barriers that hinder the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and minority faculty and administrators in higher education today. Specifically the monograph explores the obstacles that face women and minorities who serve as full-time, tenure-track faculty and senior-level administrators in the context of public, doctoral-granting research universities. Discussion of behavioral and organizational barriers leads later in the monograph to identification of best practices for improvement. The focus on racial and ethnic minorities and women in this monograph derives from the fact that the fundamental challenges related to the hiring and inclusion of minorities and women in higher education have not yet been met. Only limited progress has been made in the hiring of racial and ethnic minorities as faculty and administrators over the past quarter century, with somewhat better progress achieved in the hiring of nonminority women (Rai and Critzer, 2000). In this context, the monograph examines the success of affirmative action and explores the interrelationship between diversity and affirmative action. The discussion begins with a brief review of the importance of reaffirming the need for diversity in higher education. Following this preparatory exploration, the authors introduce three dimensions in the framework for understanding contemporary forms of workplace discrimination. First, they seek to develop an appropriate terminology to identify and elucidate how forms of prejudice and discrimination remain embedded in institutions of higher education in the United States (Feagin and O'Brien, 2003). From this perspective, discrimination is seen not from an individualistic perspective but as a systemic social phenomenon that is socially generated and lodged in institutions whether consciously or unconsciously (Feagin and O'Brien, 2003). The terminology used to conceptualize how discrimination occurs in the workplace derives from social justice philosophy and the social sciences. As a second dimension of the discussion, the authors introduce a metaphorical perspective by identifying silence as an indicator of when minorities and women are ignored and marginalized. The metaphorical perspective for describing how discrimination occurs captures the qualitative nature of how subtle behavioral forms of workplace discrimination are experienced. A third critical dimension of this exploration draws on emerging research documenting the physiological impact of discrimination on minorities and women. After introduction of these three dimensions that illuminate contemporary workplace discrimination, the discussion culminates in the exposition of the theme of reciprocal empowerment (Prilleltensky and Gonick, 1994). (Contains 2 tables, 3 exhibits, and 1 figure.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Practitioners; Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States