chapter  11
16 Pages

Advocates for Diversity . . . Or Not: Faculty Members as Change-Agents?

ByRuby Beale, Mark A. Chesler, Elizabeth Ramus

The prior chapters indicate that most faculty interviewed are not passive in dealing with diversity-related concerns and find ways to exert critical agency on these issues. This chapter focuses centrally and quite explicitly on faculty members’ approaches to activism in meeting these ideological, cultural, structural, and pedagogical challenges. Clearly, post-affirmative action thinking has focused on diversity as a catchphrase for trying to go beyond a concern for increases in the numbers of members of historically disadvantaged groups/subordinated groups in the industrial/educational workforce and workplace/classroom. But diversity means different things to different people, and advocating for diversity may take varied forms. Consequently, in this chapter we explore the ways in which the sample of university faculty members respond to interview questions asking them whether they are diversity advocates, what the term diversity

means to them, and what kinds of actions they undertake when they advocate for diversity (if they do).