Occupying the Academy: Just How Important Is Diversity Work in Higher Education?

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Christine Clark, Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner, Mark Brimhall-Vargas
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Aug 2, 2012 - Education - 278 pages
In the wake of the election of President Obama, many diversity scholars and practitioners imagined that renewed commitments to educational equity and justice were just around the corner. Unfortunately, the opposite has become the Obama-era reality. Across the country, equity and diversity workers at all levels in university and colleges, but especially Chief Diversity Officers in public institutions, are under assault. Is this assault a result of a pre-meditated and carefully calculated conservative political agenda or the unfortunate consequence of how largely white, politically conservative—and the power bases they represent—are expressing their anger about the changing racial landscape in the United States? This volume explores and deconstructs the reasons for this assault from various perspectives. This volume also illustrates how the national assault on equity and diversity has resulted in a continuum. At one end are “diversity-friendly” institutions that are benignly neglecting equity/diversity efforts because of state budget crises. At the other end of the spectrum are the deliberate efforts being made to systematically dismantle equity and diversity work in especially politically conservative states.
 

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Contents

Occupying Academia Reaffirming Diversity
1
Stories from the Chief Diversity Officer Frontlines
21
Diversity Souled Out and SoldOut Here
23
A Contextual Case Analysis on Recentering Diversity in the Midst of Social and Economic Fluctuations
38
A Chief Diversity Officers Dilemma in the Obama Era
50
Case Study of a Diversity and Community Engagement Portfolio at a Flagship Institution
61
Two Case Studies
71
Stories from the MidLevel Administrator Frontlines
83
Tensions between Articulated Commitments and Action at The ACME State University
140
Dynamism of Racism in Policies and Practices Aimed at Alleviating Discrimination
153
Chapter 13 Isnt Affirmative Action Illegal?
163
The Continuing Peripheral Enactment of Equity and Diversity in the Preparation of PK12 Teachers
174
The Dangers and Dangerousness of Challenging Whiteness in Predominantly White Institutions and TeacherPreparation Programs
183
So What? Who Cares? And Whats Our Point about Diversity?
194
Una Llamada para Ocupar
203
A Call to Occupy
207

Structures and the Covert Decisions They Make
85
Facing the Challenges to Equity Diversity and Inclusion on a University of ACME Regional Campus in Obamas Era
96
Chapter 8 The Search for Questions and Tellings of Silenced Students
106
From the Seat of the Civil War to a Seat on the Freedom Rides
115
A Critical Race Theory Analysis of the Rise of an African American Studies Program
126
Stories from the Faculty Frontlines
137
Afterword
211
References
215
Index
239
About the Editors and Contributors
245
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Christine Clark is professor and senior scholar for multicultural education, and founding vice president for diversity and inclusion at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Clark was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in México and Guatemala, where she conducted research on school and community violence.

Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner is the Shirley B. Barton and Assistant Professor in elementary education at Louisiana State University. His areas of expertise include educational foundations, pre-service teacher development, reflective practice, literacy, second language development, critical race theory, culturally relevant pedagogy, and multicultural education.

Mark Brimhall-Vargas is the associate director of the Office of Diversity Education and Compliance (ODEC), an arm of the Office of the President, and a visiting scholar for Multicultural Education and Organizational Development in the Center for Leadership and Organizational Change (CLOC), both at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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