MIE TIG Week: Ray Kennard Haynes on the Use of Domestic Diversity Evaluation Checklists in Higher Education

My name is Ray Kennard Haynes and I am an Assistant Professor at Indiana University- Bloomington and I have a keen interest domestic racial Diversity in Higher Education (HE).   Since the 1970s the United States (U.S.) has attempted to address Diversity by focusing primarily on race and gender through Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) legislation. This legislation produced some gains; however, those gains have now eroded and are under threat due to legal challenges.

HE institutions in the US have ostensibly embraced Diversity and even claim to manage it. Evidence of this commitment to diversity can be seen in the proliferation of Diversity offices and programs at HE institutions and with the advent of the position of Chief Diversity Officer (CDO). The casual observer could reasonably conclude that Diversity has been achieved in HE. Surely, we see evidence of this reality with the CDO position and ubiquitous Diversity commitment statements. Note too, that the term university can also be construed as: the many and different in one place. Given this meaning and the fact that one in every two U.S. residents will be non-white by the year 2050, Diversity in higher education is a fait accompli. Is HE really diverse with respect domestic racial groups (i.e. African-Americans and Latino-Americans)?

Hot Tips: Research suggests that despite increasing racial diversity, communities and schools are re-segregating to levels representative of the 1960s. In highly selective institutions, diversity has come to mean many things and underrepresented domestic students and faculty are becoming an increasingly smaller part of the Diversity calculus. The evidence suggests HE is becoming less domestically diverse because of the negative co-variation between increases in domestic racial diversity and decreasing access for African-Americans and Latino-Americans to higher education, especially at highly selective schools.

One way for HE to show its commitment to domestic Diversity is to define and evaluate it within the broader construct of DIVERSITY that includes visible and non-visible differences.

Evaluation checklists can be applied to assess domestic diversity deficits and related program implementation thoroughness.

For HE institutions and evaluators who believe that domestic diversity matters, a good place to start is to create Domestic Diversity Evaluation Checklists that assess for both Diversity and Inclusion. These checklists should include dimensions that capture:

  • Diversity investment: the budget (investment) associated with domestic racial diversity
  • Structural diversity: the numbers of underrepresented domestic students and faculty
  • Diversity Climate: decision making and the level of meaningful cross-race interaction and inclusion in shaping the culture and direction of the HE institution

Rad Resources: For practical help on checklists you may access, see Western Michigan University’s page on evaluation checklists and some examples of evaluation checklists.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation (MIE) Week with our colleagues in the MIE Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from MIE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

1 thought on “MIE TIG Week: Ray Kennard Haynes on the Use of Domestic Diversity Evaluation Checklists in Higher Education”

  1. Ray, this is a great idea. Do such checklists exist? The University of Wisconsin-Madison is in the middle of implementing their new Diversity and Inclusion framework, and I would love to put such a checklist into the hands of the committee.

    Bethany Laursen

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