Sustaining a Long-Term Diversity Change Initiative: Lessons from a Business University

Dr. Barbara Addison Reid,
Dr. Earl Avery,
Marcy Crary,
Dr. Duncan Spelman
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We will explore what it takes to sustain energy, interest and leadership in a long term diversity change initiative at our business university. This 11-year change project has spanned the administrations of two presidents who differ significantly in their understandings and approaches to diversity. As with any organization-wide change effort in higher education the initiative has involved three very different subcultures — the faculty, staff and students. In this presentation members of Bentley's Diversity Strategy Group will discuss a number of critical turning points and strategies intended to keep the diversity initiative on the "mainstream" agenda of the university. We will highlight the need for strategic collaborations across the subcultures of the institution and the challenge of reinventing the initiative in an ever shifting context. Issues to be considered will include: garnering support from top administrators, development and maintenance of effective education and training forums, embedding diversity materials in pedagogy and curricula, developing and implementing institution-wide measurement systems for diversity metrics, recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty and staff. We will provide a brief overview of the history of the initiative and then present several scenarios to involve the attendees in an exploration of the issues we've encountered, the diagnoses we've developed and the solutions we've tried.

Keywords: Diversity Initiative, Higher Education, Long-Term
Stream: Organisations, Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Barbara Addison Reid

Executive Director, Human Resources, Bentley College

Dr. Earl Avery

Special Assistant to the President, President's Office, Bentley College

Marcy Crary

Professor, Management Department, Bentley College

Dr. Duncan Spelman

Professor, Management Department, Bentley College

Ref: D05P0207