Higher Education

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 69–92 | Cite as

Creating a web of support: an important leadership strategy for advancing campus diversity

  • Adrianna Kezar
  • Peter Eckel
  • Melissa Contreras-McGavin
  • Stephen John Quaye
Article

Abstract

Research demonstrates that leadership, particularly among presidents, is important for moving a diversity agenda forward and make appreciable progress on it. The research questions pursued here are: What is the role of the college president in advancing a diversity agenda? What strategies do presidents identify as important to facilitating a diversity agenda? There were three main findings: (1) strategies are deployed in a non-linear way best represented through a web metaphor, (2) six sets of actors that serve as key nodes on the web and specific strategies were crucial to enhancing and deepening the web-developing an internal network, hiring, mentoring, partnering with faculty on the curriculum, supporting student affairs staff, working directly with and learning from students, and establishing external networks; and, (3) strategies within the human resource frame are noted by presidents as particularly important to moving a diversity agenda forward.

Keywords

College presidents Diversity agendas Change Leadership 

References

  1. AAUP (2003). Policy documents & reports (10th ed.). Washington, DC: AAUP.Google Scholar
  2. Baldridge, V. J. (1971). Power and conflict in the university. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  3. Bauman, G., Bustillos, L., Bensimon, E., Brown, M. C., & Bartee, R. (2005). Achieving equitable educational outcomes with all students: The institution’s role and responsibilities. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
  4. Birnbaum, R. (1988). How colleges work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  5. Birnbaum, R. (1992). How leadership works. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  6. Birnbaum, R., & Eckel, P. D. (2005). The dilemma of presidential leadership. In P. Altbach, R. Berdahl & P. Gumport (Eds.), American higher education in the twenty-first century (pp. 340–365). Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bolman, L., & Deal, T. (1991). Reframing organizations. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  8. Boyatzis, R. (1998). Transforming qualitative information. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, C. L. (1998). Campus diversity: Presidents as leaders. College Student Affairs Journal, 18(1), 84–93.Google Scholar
  10. Burke & Associates (2003). The feedback environment scale (FES): Construct definition, measurement and validation. Educational and Psychological Measurement, January.Google Scholar
  11. Chafee, E. E. (1984). Successful strategic management in small private colleges. The Journal of Higher Education, 55, 212–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cohen, M. D., & March, J. G. (1986). Leadership and ambiguity: The American college presidency (2nd ed.). Boston: Harvard Business School.Google Scholar
  13. Corrigan, M. (2003). The American college president. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  14. Curry, B. (1992). Instituting enduring innovations: Achieving continuity of change in higher education. ASHE-ERIC higher education reports series, No 7. Washington, DC: George Washington University.Google Scholar
  15. Davis, L. R. (2002). Racial diversity in higher education: Ingredients for success and failure. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 38(2), 137–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dexter, L. (1970). Elite and specialized interviewing. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Eckel, P. D. (2000). The role of shared governance in institutional hard decisions: Enabler or antagonist? Review of Higher Education, 24, 15–39.Google Scholar
  18. Eckel, P. D. (2003). Changing course: Making the hard decisions to eliminate academic programs. Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  19. Fisher, J. L. (1984). The power of the presidency. New York: Macmillian.Google Scholar
  20. Fisher, J. L., & Koch, J. V. (1996). Presidential leadership: Making a difference. Phoenix: Oryx Press.Google Scholar
  21. Ford Foundation (1999). Reasons for hope: Promising practices from the campus diversity initiative. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
  22. Garcia, M., Hudgins, C. A., Musil, C. M., Nettles, M. T., Sedlacek, W. E., & Smith, D. G. (2001). Assessing campus diversity initiatives: A guide for campus practitioners. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
  23. Hale F. W. (Ed.) (2004). What makes racial diversity work in higher education?. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.Google Scholar
  24. Harvey, W. B., & Anderson, E. L. (2005). Minorities in higher education: Twenty-first annual status report. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  25. Helegesen, S. (1990). Women’s way of leading. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  26. Holstein, J., & Gubrium, J. (1995). The active interview. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Hurtado, A. (2005). Toward a more equitable society: Moving forward in the struggle for affirmative action. The Review of Higher Education, 28(2), 273–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hurtado, S., et al. (1999). Enacting diverse learning environments. Washington, DC: ASHE-ERIC.Google Scholar
  29. Kee, A., & Mahoney, J. (1995). Multicultural strategies for community colleges. Washington, DC: American Association for Community Colleges.Google Scholar
  30. Kerr, C., & Gade, M. L. (1986). The many lives of academic presidents: Time, place, and character. Washington, DC: Association of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges.Google Scholar
  31. Kezar, A. (2001). Understanding and facilitating organizational change in the 21st century. ASHE-ERIC 28-4. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  32. Kezar, A., Carducci, R., & Conteras-McGavin, M. (2006). Rethinking the “L” word in higher education: The revolution of research on leadership. Volume 31(6). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.Google Scholar
  33. Kezar, A., & Eckel, P. (2005). Advancing campus diversity: Presidential strategies for success. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  34. Kezar, A., & Eckel, P. (2005). Important journeys: Presidents supporting students of color. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  35. Kesar, A., (in Press). Tools for a time and place: Phased leadership strategies for advancing campus diversity. Review of Higher Education.Google Scholar
  36. Kesar, A., (in Press). Learning from and with students: College presidents creating organizational learning to advance diversity agendas. NASPA Journal.Google Scholar
  37. Kesar, A., (in Press). Understanding leadership strategies for adressing the politics of diversity. The Journal of Higher Education.Google Scholar
  38. Kirkpatrick, S. A., & VanNatta, C. (1999). Institutionalizing diversity initiatives. Metropolitan Universities: An international forum, 9(4), 61–68.Google Scholar
  39. McGovern, D., Foster, L., Ward, K. (2002). College leadership: Learning from experience. Journal of Leadership Studies, 8(3), 29–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Merriam, S. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  41. Merton, R., Fiske, M., & Kendall, P. (1990). The focused interview: A manual of problems and procedures (2nd ed.). New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  42. Mintzberg, H. (1985). Structures in fives: Designing effective organizations. New York: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  43. Milem, J., Chang, M., & Antonio, A. (2005). Making diversity work on campus: A research based perspective. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
  44. Musil, C. M., Garcia, M., Hudgins, C. A., Nettles, M. T., Sedlacek, W. E., & Smith, D. G. (1999). To form a more perfect union: Campus diversity initiatives. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
  45. Nelson, A. K., Cabral, A. L., & Hollingsworth, R. A. (1994). Crucial practices for diversity: A project report of the alliance for undergraduate education. University Park, PA: Alliance for Undergraduate Education.Google Scholar
  46. Pettigrew, A. M. (1995). Longitudinal field research on change: Theory and practice. In G. P. Huber & A. H. Van de Ven (Eds.), Longitudinal field research methods: Studying processes of organizational change (pp. 91–125). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  47. Richardson, R. C., & Skinner, E. F. (1990). Adapting to diversity: Organizational influences on student achievement. The Journal of Higher Education, 61(5), 485–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Seidman, I. (1991). Interviewing as qualitative research. New York: Teacher’s College Press.Google Scholar
  49. Slaughter, J. B. (1998). On achieving excellence and equity. The Presidency, 1(1), 35–37.Google Scholar
  50. Slaughter S., & Rhoades, G. (2004). Academic capitalism and the new economy: Markets, state, and higher education. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Smith, D. (1989). The challenge of diversity. Washington, DC: ASHE-ERIC.Google Scholar
  52. Smith, D. (1996). Achieving faculty diversity: Debunking the myths. Washington, DC: Association of American College and Universities.Google Scholar
  53. Smith, D., & Associates (1997). Diversity works: The emerging picture of how students benefit. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
  54. Starbuck, W. H., & Milliken, F. J. (1988). Executive’s perceptual filters: What they notice and how they make sense. In D. C. Hambrick (Ed.), The executive effect: Concepts and methods for studying top managers (pp. 35–65). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  55. Tierney, W. (1988). The web of leadership: The presidency in higher education. Greenwich, CT: JAI.Google Scholar
  56. Tierney, W. G., & Rhoads, R. A. (1992). Cultural leadership in higher education. University Park, PA: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.Google Scholar
  57. University of Maryland. (1998). Diversity blueprint: A planning manual for colleges and universities. Washington, DC: Association of American College and Universities.Google Scholar
  58. Van den Ven, A. H., & Poole, M. S. (1995). Explaining development and change in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 20, 510–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Walker, D. E. (1979). The effective administrator. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrianna Kezar
    • 1
  • Peter Eckel
    • 2
  • Melissa Contreras-McGavin
    • 1
  • Stephen John Quaye
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.American Council on EducationWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.University of MarylaneCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations