The Effect Of Diversity Mandates: The Case Of Mississippi Institutions Of Higher Learning

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Rebecca Hochradel
Jamye Long
Cooper Johnson
Haley Wells

Keywords

Diversity, mandate, student, employee, Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Traditionally White Universities (TWUs)

Abstract

After more than 40 years since the University of Mississippi integrated its student body and the passage of civil rights and affirmative action legislation throughout the United States, universities are confronting the issue of developing not only a diverse student body, but also a diverse faculty, staff, and administration.  In the intervening years, much research has been conducted in the area of diversity within universities.  Past research focused on the attitudes towards diversity, necessity and benefits of diversity, and student initiatives to address these issues.  However, the vast majority of diversity research centers on human resources issues.  In 2006, Commissioner Tom Meredith of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) charged the Mississippi higher education institutions with increasing the diversity of faculty, staff, and students.  The purpose of this study is to investigate the diversity among these institutions and to determine the effect of the mandate by the IHL on the diversity of employees and students at these universities.  Data analysis includes a report of the current diversity status and analysis of change based on the mandate.  This study concludes with a discussion of the results, implications of these results, and directions for future research.

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