Publications & Products
Volume 8, Issue 2

Leaders Must Reinforce Diversity on Campus

Community college presidents and chancellors must "get uncomfortable" to build a truly diverse and inclusive campus culture, according to CASE's director of diversity and talent management.

In a presentation at last month's CASE Community College Executive Symposium, Anita Walton noted that community colleges educate some of the most diverse groups in U.S. higher education, including first-generation, low-income and minority students. She shared that:

• Forty-two percent of community college students are the first in their family to attend college.
• More than 50 percent of all community college students have been women.
• Community colleges educate the majority of black and Hispanic undergraduate students.
• Most community college students receive financial aid.

Walton said community college leaders should ask themselves whether their advancement staffs, volunteer leaders and boards reflect the students that they serve now and will continue to serve as they become alumni and potential donors.

"As leaders, you must make the necessary changes in personnel, resources and (in some cases) the way your campus conducts business to create a diverse and inclusive campus that is attractive to all donors, alumni and students," Walton said. "With these changes, while uncomfortable, comes the opportunity to set agendas and expectations and ultimately guidelines on how to hold the campus accountable for this new culture."

Walton shared some initial steps that campus leaders can take to help diversify the face of their campuses. These include:

• Develop a strategy to ensure you can hear the voices of your student population.
• Connect with community organizations to help find those voices.
• Provide diversity training on the campus for your faculty and staff.
• Provide unconscious bias training for staff. 

This article is from the November/December 2017 issue of the Community College Advancement News.

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