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Diversity's Promise for Higher Education

, 376 pages

27 charts

April 2015



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Diversity's Promise for Higher Education

Making It Work

second edition


Daryl G. Smith has devoted her career to studying and fostering diversity in higher education. She has witnessed and encouraged the evolution of diversity from an issue addressed sporadically on college campuses to a reality of the modern university experience. In Diversity’s Promise for Higher Education, Smith brings together scholarly and field research relevant to the next generation of diversity work. The book argues that achieving excellence in a diverse society requires increasing the institutional capacity for diversity while simultaneously working to understand how diversity is tied to better leadership, positive change, research in virtually every field, student success, accountability, and more equitable hiring practices.

To become more relevant to society, the nation, and the world while remaining true to their core missions, colleges and universities must continue to see diversity—like technology—as central, not parallel, to their work. In Diversity’s Promise for Higher Education, Smith proposes a set of clear and realistic practices that will help colleges and universities locate diversity as a strategic imperative and pursue diversity efforts that are inclusive of the varied—and growing—issues apparent on campuses without losing focus on the critical unfinished business of the past.

In this edition, which is aimed at administrators, faculty, researchers, and students of higher education, Smith emphasizes a transdisciplinary approach to the topic of diversity, drawing on an updated list of sources from a wealth of literatures and fields. The tables have been refreshed to include data on faculty diversity over a twenty-year period and the book includes new information about gender identity, stereotype threat, student success, the growing role of chief diversity officers, the international emergence of diversity issues, faculty hiring, and implicit bias.

Daryl G. Smith is a senior research fellow and professor emerita of education and psychology at Claremont Graduate University. She is the coauthor of Making a Real Difference with Diversity: A Guide to Institutional Change and the editor of Diversity in Higher Education: Emerging Perspectives on Institutional Transformation.

"A must-read for anyone working in higher education... This book offers a deep, broad, and forward-looking approach to making Diversity's Promise for Higher Education a closer, rather than a distant reality."

"An important contribution for its succinct and persuasive framing of diversity as more than an afterthought but as an essential and primary lens through which to view our institutional work education... This text unequivocally and strategically frames the implementation of our contemporary diversity imperative."

"This book provides guidance for advisors interested in developing a stronger understanding of diversity related topics and provides the stimulus for meaningful discussions about methods that enhance the institutional climate for multiple student groups."

"A valuable resource in offering a multifaceted approach for colleges and universities to follow in seeking to make diversity efforts constitute a core part of institutional functioning... Smith offers a very useful work that is accessible to a more general audience, including higher education administrators, as well as of value to scholars specializing in diversity issues."

"A groundbreaking text that highlights diversity's crucial role as a driving force for change in higher education."

"Daryl Smith... has updated her landmark work on the importance and value of diversity in higher education leadership, research, student success, and other aspects of higher education... Smith offers concrete suggestions for colleges and universities to improve diversity on campus."

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