Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education

Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education

by Joseph E. Garcia, Karen J. Hoelscher


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Covering a timely topic, which is more and more frequently in the news, this book offers vignettes that will sharpen the reader's ability to recognize and respond to difficult situations sparked by identity differences among faculty, staff, and students in college and university settings. The authors provide a systematic guide to addressing interpersonal conflicts that arise out of issues of identity difference, both for individuals and for campus work teams who provide direct service to students. Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education empowers readers to diagnose diversity flashpoint situations and positively address them without creating defensiveness and barriers to dialogue. The authors include an overview of the changing ethnic, racial, and gender composition of students in higher education in the United States and the major trends in campus responses to the changing student population. They offer an approach to creating higher education environments that welcome people of all cultural characteristics and promote civility on campus. The book is founded on the authors' research on diversity flashpoints in higher education for which they interviewed a national sample of student affairs professionals. The authors identified uncomfortable interpersonal situations with faculty members in which the discomfort arose from student identity difference. This process led to the formulation of strategies for using vignettes (resulting from interviews) in professional development sessions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607096528
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/16/2010
Series: ACE Series on Higher Education Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Joseph E. Garcia is the Bowman Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies and director of the Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership at Western Washington University. He is president of the Management Faculty of Color Association and serves on a number of editorial boards in the fields of management and management education. Karen J. Hoelscher is professor of elementary education in the Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University. In 2001, Hoelscher received Western Washington University’s Diversity Achievement Award.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Chapter 2 Diversity Trends: Implications for Campuses 11

Chapter 3 Diversity-Friendly Campus Climates 21

Chapter 4 Learning 33

Chapter 5 Communication 43

Chapter 6 Understanding Diversity Flashpoint Situations 55

Chapter 7 Going Local 71

Chapter 8 Anticipating Future Challenges 83

Appendices Workshop Material 105

Appendix A Template for a Professional Development Workshop for Faculty and Staff 105

Appendix B Workshop Goals 107

Appendix C Diversity Flashpoint Form 111

Appendix D Group Leader Notes for Supporting Small Group Discussion 113

Appendix E Handout 1-Diversity Flashpoints Research Foundations, Methods, Results, and Implications for Practice and Policy 114

Appendix F Handout 2-Guidelines for Small Group Discussion of Diversity Flashpoint Situations and Some Ground Rules for Discussion 116

Appendix G Handout 3-Feedback Form, Diversity Flashpoints Professional Development Workshop 117

Appendix H Collection of Twenty-Four Diversity Flashpoint Vignettes 118

Index 147

What People are Saying About This

Dr. Milton Chen

"Joseph Garcia and Karen Hoelscher have written an important book that takes the diversity discussion to a new and much more specific level, where it belongs. This book and its vignettes should be used in courses and trainings for students, faculty, and administrators to break down stereotypes and create a culture of tolerance and open communication that meets the fundamental mission of a university. All of us need a new language—vocabulary, syntax, and grammar—for discussing perceived differences and creating more understanding around our actual commonalities. My hope would be that the students, faculty, and administrators using this work carry it into other institutions, corporations, nonprofits, and public agencies, to raise our diversity IQ."

Martin M. Chemers

"Garcia and Hoelscher have given us, not only an erudite and insightful analysis for understanding diversity-driven communication difficulties, but also provided us a utilitarian tool for addressing these difficulties. The book is a well-researched and well written work that takes an action based approach to handling difficult situations. Wisely, the authors have couched their advice in the tradition of professional development, rather than character improvement. Going from problem to theory to action, Garcia and Hoelscher provide insightful ways of thinking about diversity-related strain and turn those into methods to improve diversity self-efficacy. This book should be on the shelf of every administrator and manager in institutions of higher education as a resource and training tool."

Saundra Taylor

"Garcia and Hoelscher have provided a blueprint for closing the gap between interest and action, theory and practice, planning and implementation in dealing with diversity training. This is a how to book based on sound principles of learning, intercultural communication, and interpersonal skills. As a student affairs professional I applaud this effort. It is timely and useful for professionals and faculty in academic settings. It is a refreshing approach that provides the tools to build a more tolerant and inclusive community on our college and university campuses."

Kathleen McCartney

"In Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education, Garcia and Hoelscher offer a practical guide to coping with difficult interpersonal issues on campus. Through anecdotes, exercises, and classroom notes, the authors encourage us to challenge our definitions of diversity and to be mindful of the opportunities associated with difference."

Darlyne Bailey

"Within 200 pages Garcia and Hoelscher introduce us to the realities—content and process—of diversity flashpoints. Through a language that is both clear and accessible, we gain a thorough appreciation of the complexities inherent to these interpersonal clashes of past experiences and current perspectives. Spanning over a century of related literature in the art and skill of teaching and learning and leadership and communication in individuals, groups, organizations, and communities, Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education deftly interweaves erudite concepts with everyday vignettes. In short, this book is a must read for all who care about recognizing and transcending culturally-rooted microagressions to enable establishing and sustaining, mutually affirming relations with others."

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