Preparing students to enter the increasingly globalized society requires training in interacting with individuals unlike themselves, said Alvin Evans, associate vice president for human resources.
“Research has clearly shown that students who experience the most racial and ethnic diversity inside and outside of the classroom show improvements in learning outcomes and tend to value democracy more,” he said. “In addition to learning outcomes, these students demonstrate growth in thinking skills as well as intellectual and academic skills.”
In research for his first book with Edna Chun, vice president for human resources and equity at Broward College, “Are the Walls Really Down? Behavioral and Organizational Barriers to Faculty and Staff Diversity in Higher Education,” he said he found Kent State’s diversity plan to be one of the most effective of doctoral organizations.
Evans said this inspired the research to continue with their second co-authored book, “Bridging the Diversity Divide: Globalization and Reciprocal Empowerment in Higher Education.”
The benefits to students are what motivate the diversity hiring in higher education. He said the students are the focus, and the administrators must make sure they are provided with the resources to learn skills to better interact with those who are different than them.
“After we address the whole student issue, we can say, ‘What do we need in terms of faculty and staff to have a truly diverse environment?’” he said. “That’s why we’re really writing the book.”
“Bridging the Diversity Divide: Globalization and Reciprocal Empowerment in Higher Education” is a guide for better diversity plans for higher education professionals and better plans for serving students in the global economy.
The book received the 2010 Kathryn G. Hansen Publication Award from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources in September at the organization’s conference in New Orleans.
CUPA-HR is a professional organization that represents doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s institutions.
“Are the Walls Really Down? Behavior and Organizational Barriers to Faculty and Staff Diversity in Higher Education” also won the 2007 Kathryn G. Hansen Publications Award from CUPA-HR.
You can contact Ellen Kirtner at [email protected]