Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 125–139 | Cite as

Mission and Diversity Statements: What They Do and Do Not Say

  • Jeffery L. WilsonEmail author
  • Katrina A. Meyer
  • Larry McNeal


For this study we used institutional web sites to examine the mission statements of 80 higher education institutions for messages about diversity. Of the 80 institutions, 59 (75%) referenced diversity in their mission statements; but only 19% defined diversity in racial or ethnic terms. In addition to mission statements, 52 (or 65%) of the 80 institutions had a separate diversity statement; but only 18 of these were an official institutional statement. These treatments of diversity are interesting in light of the changing demographics of the incoming college student population and the recognized need for greater cultural development or awareness on campuses. If mission and diversity statements reflect the priorities of the institution, 35% of the institutions in the sample said nothing about diversity.

Key words

Higher education institutions Mission statements Diversity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffery L. Wilson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katrina A. Meyer
    • 1
  • Larry McNeal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LeadershipUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA

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