With the imminent demographic shifts in our society and the need to prepare students for citizenship in a global, knowledge-based society, the role of the academic department chair in creating diverse and inclusive learning environments is arguably the most pivotal position in higher education today.
In the United States, increasing minority student enrollment coupled with the emergence of a minority majority American nation by 2042 demands that academic institutions be responsive to these changing demographics. The isolation of the ivory tower is no longer an option. This is the first book to address the role of the department chair in diversity and addresses an unmet need by providing a research-based, systematic approach to diversity leadership in the academic department based upon survey findings and in-person interviews.
The department chair represents the nexus between the faculty and the administration and is positioned uniquely to impact diversity progress. Research indicates that more than 80 percent of academic decisions regarding appointment, curriculum, tenure and promotion, classroom pedagogy, and student outcomes are made by the department chair in consultation with the faculty.
This book examines the multidimensional contributions that chairs make in advancing diversity within their departments and institutions in the representation of diverse faculty and staff, in tenure and promotion, in curricular change, in student learning outcomes and in departmental climate. The scope and content of the book is not limited to institutions in the United States but is applicable to academic institutions globally in their efforts to address the access and success of increasingly diverse student populations.
It addresses institutional power structures and the role of the dean in relation to the appointment of chairs and their impact on the success of chairs from non-dominant groups, including female, minority, and lesbian/gay/transgendered individuals who serve in predominantly white male departments.
Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, the book analyzes predominant structural and behavioral barriers that can impede diversity progress within the academic department. It then focuses upon the opportunities and challenges chairs face in their collaborative journey with faculty and administration toward inclusive departmental and institutional practices. Each chapter provides concrete strategies that chairs can use to strengthen diversity in the academic department.
Addressed to department chairs, deans, faculty, and administrative leaders in higher education in all Western societies facing demographic change and global challenges, this book offers a critical road map to creating the successful academic institutions that will meet the needs of our changing populations.
Edna Chun is Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA. Alvin Evans serves as Interim Vice President of Human Resources for Kent State University, USA. He is, with Edna Chun, award-winning authors and human resource and diversity leaders with extensive experience in complex, multi-campus systems of higher education. Two of their books, Are the Walls Really Down? Behavioral and Organizational Barriers to Faculty and Staff Diversity and Bridging the Diversity Divide: Globalization and Reciprocal Empowerment in Higher Education were recipients of the prestigious Kathryn G. Hansen Publication Award by the national College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. Their most recent publications include The New Talent Acquisition Frontier, Diverse Administrators in Peril: The New Indentured Class in Higher Education and Creating a Tipping Point: Strategic HR in Higher Education. Evans and Chun have published a number of journal articles in leading professional and diversity journals on talent management and diversity strategies.