Diversity and Institutional Transformation: Higher Education’s Imperative

  • Sharon R. Bird (Iowa State University)


The concept of diversity connotes, for some, legal issues of compliance with policies like affirmative action and legal rulings. But for administrators and practitioners whose goals also include development of educational environments and organizational practices that promote the most innovative solutions to complex problems, diversity also means maximizing the potential of all individuals from all groups within society. Maximizing this potential is not merely a matter of recruiting and retaining people of diverse backgrounds—though both are essential. Developing the potential of diversity requires transforming the structures, cultures, and practices of institutions of higher education and of work organizations so that the benefits of diverse ideas and solutions to complex problems can be maximized. Transforming institutions and workplaces not only makes universities and work organizations more successful, it makes them more desirable places for individuals to learn and work.



Published on
03 Mar 2006
Peer Reviewed