Internationalization in Higher Education through Faculty Diversification

Nida G. Quitan

American Journal of Educational Research

Internationalization in Higher Education through Faculty Diversification

Nida G. Quitan

Dean, College of Hospitality Industry Management, Quirino State University, Philippines


Internationalization in higher education has been the recurring theme of the global academic community in preparing the future world leaders and workers – from the developed to the developing countries. Faculty diversification, which is the primary arm of internationalization, covets an array of geopolitical and geocultural interdisciplinarities that may hinder its prime purpose. This study discerns the determinants of internationalization and faculty diversification in higher education: the exposure of the student-learners to an array of ideas, cultures, behaviors, experiences and standards. Diversification benefits the academic environment by offering optimal educational experiences to a community that promotes peace and harmony in preparing students for their global tasks as future leaders and workers in the acumen of internationalization in education and work globalization. Hence, it benefits the student-learners as diversified teachers are imperative to the need and the focus on extending tertiary education as a vehicle for long term human resource development.

Cite this article:

  • Nida G. Quitan. Internationalization in Higher Education through Faculty Diversification. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 4, No. 9, 2016, pp 674-680.
  • Quitan, Nida G.. "Internationalization in Higher Education through Faculty Diversification." American Journal of Educational Research 4.9 (2016): 674-680.
  • Quitan, N. G. (2016). Internationalization in Higher Education through Faculty Diversification. American Journal of Educational Research, 4(9), 674-680.
  • Quitan, Nida G.. "Internationalization in Higher Education through Faculty Diversification." American Journal of Educational Research 4, no. 9 (2016): 674-680.

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At a glance: Figures

1. Introduction

Faculty diversification in higher education is the overarching epoch among academic communities that has become fashionable with international clouts at the forefront of international academic standards. This initiative had been the framework of the institution’s proactive commitment in its understanding to their central mission that is linked on the future of the diversity of the world, specifically on the worldwide contexts of the diverse field of work and works. The comprehensible contextualization of the geopolitical and geocultural interdisciplinarities of faculty diversification should be the prevailing wigwag ken of cache of every higher education institution if they are to pursue worldwide superiority in educational competencies.

Faculty diversification, in the context of academic reform, should not be limited to the historical context of color and ethnic backgrounds [4, 5, 6]. Diversity should be delineated in the contexts of customs, cultural and religious experiences, personal experiences, historical and political knowledge and much more [15, 17]. Thus, a diverse teaching force is imperative to the exposure of the student-learners to an array of ideas, cultures, behaviors, experiences and standards. In a diverse student population, students need to be exposed to teachers who are like them. They need to see people who have an impact on their lives, look like them, sound like them, and have similar life experiences [12].

The crux is: institutions of higher learning must be aware of the fact that most of the future work and works need diversity in interdisciplinarities of know-how in their profession. This interdisciplinarity contextualization is a product of a diverse learning and learning environment, which is believed to be acquired in an institution with a diverse faculty and teaching force [10].

In the case of the United States of America as cited in the work of Gibaldi, the best institutions of higher learning have clinched to diversity in teaching and learning, and have linked academic excellence, diversity and inclusion to their philosophy, vision and mission statements to an institutional cultures, both geopolitical and geocultural interdisciplinarities, supportive to the adoption of an evolved model of educational internationalization standards [10].

Moreover, a diversified teaching force, e.g., gender, racial and all other aspects of diversification, has been imperatively determined as critical to the achievement of the institution’s educational mission [3, 11]. It is qualified further that a diverse faculty is indispensable in offering a quality education among student-learners.

Astutely, the best institutions offering higher education programs embodied the diversification challenges that are expected to bring greater changes of improvement and enhancement of student learning and faculty development. These pluralities in higher education are linked to the intertwined interdisciplinarities of teaching and learning missions responsive to the diversity of the future’s nature of world global field of work and works.

Faculty diversification and globalization is qualitatively considered as the new phase of educational internationalization in terms of socio-cultural and ethnic pluralism, and heterogeneity in academic standards in the contemporary educational eon. This new contemporary academic concept shall lead institutions of higher learning into post-industrial phase which offers an optimum increase in the so-called communication strategy in the international community leading to a bar-none international standard in higher education. As a result, internationalization procedures go imperatively with the fragmentation of the intercivilization interactions that demonstrate a unique mental and psychological vitality across geopolitical and geocultural pluralism of interdisciplinarities of a bar-none model of academic standards across the world.

1.1. Theoretical Framework

This study used the declared mission and functions of Higher Education as stipulated in the 1998 World Declaration on Higher Education for the 21st Century as its legal framework. Embodied in an excerpt on its Preamble, together with its functions, its vision and mission are clearly traced…

On the eve of a new century, there is an unprecedented demand for and a great diversification in higher education, as well as an increased awareness of its vital importance for socio-cultural and economic development, and for building the future, for which the younger generations will need to be equipped with new skills, knowledge and ideals….[18]

Diversification, in this sense, covers a multitude of areas, factors and indicators of success in the academic learning environment particularly the teaching-learning process necessary in the attainment of quality higher education (both in form and substance). This phenomenon is carried out through the overseer of the academic environment (academic administrators) and the facilitators of the learning environment (academic advisor, faculty, among others): a conglomeration of academic background and orientation, training and experience. This hodgepodge of faculty members in higher education impinges multidimensional concept of academic learning and the acumen on rigorous exchange of ideas in a diverse perspective. Hence, the geocultural and geopolitical interdisciplinarities of faculty diversification in higher education.

Center on faculty diversification in higher education are the legal standpoints, which are stipulated as the study’s framework and legal bases [18], to wit:

1. Article 8, entitled as Diversification for enhanced equity of opportunity, calls for a diversification in higher education. (a) Diversifying higher education models and recruitment methods and criteria is essential both to meet increasing international demand and to provide access to various delivery modes and to extend access to an ever-wider public, in a lifelong perspective, based on flexible entry and exit points to and from the system of higher education; (b) More diversified systems of higher education are characterized by new types of tertiary institutions: public, private and non-profit institutions, amongst others. Institutions should be able to offer a wide variety of education and training opportunities: traditional degrees, short courses, part-time study, flexible schedules, modularized courses, supported learning at a distance, etc.

2. Article 9, entitled as Innovative educational approaches: critical thinking and creativity, underpins the following calls: (a) In a world undergoing rapid changes, there is a perceived need for a new vision and paradigm of higher education, which should be student-oriented, calling in most countries for in-depth reforms and an open access policy so as to cater for ever more diversified categories of people, and of its contents, methods, practices and means of delivery, based on new types of links and partnerships with the community and with the broadest sectors of society. (b) Higher education institutions should educate students to become well informed and deeply motivated citizens, who can think critically, analyze problems of society, look for solutions to the problems of society, apply them and accept social responsibilities.

3. On the other hand, Article 10 posited tenets on Higher education personnel and students as major actors. Section (a) stipulates that a vigorous policy of staff development is an essential element for higher education institutions. Clear policies should be established concerning higher education teachers, who nowadays need to focus on teaching students how to learn and how to take initiatives rather than being exclusively founts of knowledge. Adequate provision should be made for research and for updating and improving pedagogical skills, through appropriate staff development programmes, encouraging constant innovation in curriculum, teaching and learning methods, and ensuring appropriate professional and financial status, and for excellence in research and teaching, reflecting the corresponding provisions of the Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel approved by the General Conference of UNESCO in November 1997. To this end, more importance should be attached to international experience. Furthermore, in view of the role of higher education for lifelong learning, experience outside the institutions ought to be considered as a relevant qualification for higher educational staff.

4. Lastly, Article 11 embodies a clear guideline on Qualitative Evaluation on the monitoring of the above vision and mission, to wit: (a) Quality in higher education is a multidimensional concept, which should embrace all its functions, and activities: teaching and academic programmes, research and scholarship, staffing, students, buildings, facilities, equipment, services to the community and the academic environment. Internal self-evaluation and external review, conducted openly by independent specialists, if possible with international expertise, are vital for enhancing quality. Independent national bodies should be established and comparative standards of quality, recognized at international level, should be defined. Due attention should be paid to specific institutional, national and regional contexts in order to take into account diversity and to avoid uniformity. Stakeholders should be an integral part of the institutional evaluation process; (b) Quality also requires that higher education should be characterized by its international dimension: exchange of knowledge, interactive networking, mobility of teachers and students, and international research projects, while taking into account the national cultural values and circumstances; (c) To attain and sustain national, regional or international quality, certain components are particularly relevant, notably careful selection of staff and continuous staff development, in particular through the promotion of appropriate programmes for academic staff development, including teaching/learning methodology and mobility between countries, between higher education institutions, and between higher education institutions and the world of work, as well as student mobility within and between countries. The new information technologies are an important tool in this process, owing to their impact on the acquisition of knowledge and know-how.

1.2. Objectives of the Study

This study is designed to qualify the underpinning geopolitical and geocultural interdisciplinarities of faculty diversification as a way of enriching the academic background and experience of student-learners in higher education.

Specifically, it ought to find explanations on the following:

1. What are the legal bases in implementing models of faculty diversification in higher education?

2. What are the perceived benefits of faculty diversification to student-learning and to the educative processes?

2. Methodology

This study was based on a case study – dwelling on an inference as the focal point for discussion and investigation: the geopolitical and geocultural interdisciplinarities of faculty diversification in higher education. The Explicative-Reductive Method was employed in this study focused on the contemporary event characteristics of the common interests in the academic community: the internationalization of higher education through faculty diversification. The Explicative Method was used to account a context encompassing variables and qualities attributed to the problem. This paved for the determinant of the state of the act of harmonizing the educational paradigm. On the other hand, the Reductive Method was used to elicit the potential variables of the identified context for enrichment and further analysis. It involved a systematic investigation using documentary analysis as the predominant method of data collection. Corroboration of findings, vis-à-vis with the identified norms of the context of the study was used to conclude on the topography of the study – the geopolitical and geocultural interdisciplinarities of faculty diversification.

Presented in the foregoing figure is the research paradigm of the study which serves as its conceptual framework. Factors imperative to the premise that faculty diversification is essential to better assimilation of knowledge and understanding through a varied members of the faculty and teaching force from various orientation and academic backgrounds, are to be known.

It presents that the course of the study dealt on the geopolitical and geocultural interdisciplinarities of faculty diversification with emphasis on the multidimensional concept in higher education. These entwined leaps are imperative to a potpourri of a worldwide concept on multidirectional and multispeed process of integration within the acumen of internationalization among institutions of higher learning.

On the basis of the argument that a diverse faculty plays an integral part in the robust exchange of ideas in the academic learning environment, the institution, together with its administration and key officials, must decide for itself on the academic grounds, who may teach, what may be taught, how it shall be taught, and who may be admitted to teach and to study [14, 15]. These factors must become the concomitant factors in hiring a diverse faculty, together with that of governing geopolitical interdisciplinarities. Hence, the institution’s initiatives on faculty diversification should be encroached with a broad definition of diversity to ultimately attain this purpose [14, 15].

3. Results and Discussion

3.1. The Implementing Legal Bases of Faculty Diversification Model in Higher Education

In the current educational climate and current issue of interest in higher education, diversification comes at a par that most of the accrediting bodies demand. However, a very unsettled law exists in this area across the world. However, diversification must come with sound bases, i.e. the case of the USA, as it is under the Equal Protection Clause (U.S. Constitution, 14th Amendment) “… No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws…” Public institutions, including private educational institutions, are subject to this Constitutional restriction. However, Title VI (regarding race), when it applies to employment as addressed below, has been held to be coextensive with the Equal Protection Clause. Title IX (regarding gender) also tracks equal protection principles on key points, although some differences exist between those two laws. Consequently, private institutions that receive federal funds are effectively subject to the same restrictions as those that arise under the Equal Protection Clause when Title VI or IX applies. Race: Strict Scrutiny Analysis. When the government classifies individuals based on race, courts will apply strict scrutiny to the classification under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Thus, an affirmative action program implemented by a public institution must be narrowly tailored to promote a compelling state interest. Remedying the present effects of the institution's own past discrimination is a compelling interest sufficient to support a race based classification under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Gender: Intermediate Scrutiny Analysis. Major legal challenges to diversity efforts in higher education have focused on race and have arisen largely in the context of admissions. Gender is also an important element of diversity, however. As a general matter, women both outnumber and academically outperform men, although in some fields, including STEM, women are underrepresented relative to their overall numbers in undergraduate institutions and the general population.

Title VI (42 U.S.C. § 2000d). This prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin by recipients of federal funds: No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Title VI applies with respect to all aspects of an institution's operations. However, for the most part, Title VI restricts claims of employment discrimination to instances in which the "primary objective" of the federal financial assistance is to provide employment. [3, 14, 15] (No such restriction applies with respect to employment claims brought under Title IX.) Thus, "where the primary purpose of the Federal assistance is to provide employment, the recipient may not discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin against applicants for employment or employees in that program. For example, Title VI prohibits discrimination against applicants for or participants in 'work study' programs that receive Federal assistance." [3, 14, 15, 20] The Department of Education's Title VI regulations also forbids employment discrimination in a second situation: "discrimination against employees or applicants for employment is prohibited by Title VI when the discriminatory practice results in discrimination against the program beneficiaries, usually the students." [3, 14, 15, 21]. Where faculty is critical to the delivery of educational programs and benefits to students, discrimination against faculty may be seen to carry through to students. When Title VI applies in the employment context, it "encompasses, but is not limited to, recruitment, advertising, employment, layoffs, firing, upgrading, demotions, transfers, rates of pay and other forms of compensation, and uses of facilities. The regulation applies to all employment decisions and actions made directly by the Department of Education's recipients, as well as those made indirectly through contractual arrangements or other relationships with organizations such as employment agencies, labor unions, organizations providing or administering fringe benefits, and organizations providing training and apprenticeship programs." [3, 14, 15, 20, 21]

Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000e). Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin; covers hiring, firing, promotion, wages, job assignments, fringe benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment; and applies to private employers with 15 or more employees, and to all public employers. Thus, all educational institutions are subject to Title VII. Title VII applies only in the employment context. (In contrast, Titles VI and IX apply to all aspects of an institution's operations, including employment). Under Title VII: It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. [3, 14, 15, 20, 21]. Title VII expressly permits differential treatment on the basis of religion, sex, or national origin if those characteristics constitute a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ): It shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to hire and employ employees, for an employment agency to classify, or refer for employment any individual, for a labor organization to classify its membership or to classify or refer for employment any individual, or for an employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training or retraining programs to admit or employ any individual in any such program, on the basis of his religion, sex, or national origin in those certain instances where religion, sex, or national origin is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise. [3, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21]

Corollary to the aforementioned legal bases, a presidential order (citing the case of USA) [14, 15]) [20, 21] known as Executive Order 11246 requires colleges and universities that receive federal contracts (a different and higher standard than "federal aid") to take affirmative action as to race and national origin, among other factors. A good definition of affirmative action is included in the regulations implementing E.O. 11246. They define an affirmative action plan as "a set of specific and result-oriented procedures to which a contractor commits it to apply every good faith effort. The objective of those procedures plus such efforts is equal employment opportunity. Procedures without effort to make them work are meaningless; and effort, undirected by specific and meaningful procedures, is inadequate..."

Owing to the internationalization in higher education under the Bologna process in European countries, diversification plan should include: (1) the establishment of a variety of parallel academic appointment tracks, that usually involve increased specialization in academic tasks – either teaching only or research-only appointments – and are associated with a shrinking core of traditional full-time, permanent and research oriented faculty; (2) the disproportionate growth of national tertiary systems outside the traditional research university sector that provide alternative, non-research career tracks, and (3) the increasing feminization of academic workers, especially newer recruits to academic careers, although (a) the pace varies widely among European countries and tends not to be on the scale of the US; and (b) it is not clear to what extent they hold new kinds of dispositions and values towards work-family life balance as do their counterparts in the US. They do, however, as in the US, appear to be represented disproportionately among the ‘new’ kinds of academic appointments [7, 8]. In the study of Finkelstein, he classified the considerable diversification in Europe into 3 patterns: the impervious Southern Europe, the Nordic European countries and the vast middle European countries which drew broad differences with the diversification plan in the US: the basic power of academic tradition (Italy, Spain), the more powerful role of national government (even if decentralization has been proceeding in several countries), and the political power of trade unions in resisting the negotiation away of the professorate’s civil services status [7, 8].

With the accreditation and partnership of some universities in Asia and Middle East to the European Association in Higher Education, like the British Education Council, and American Higher Education, diversification has taken its place to a corollary implication to their faculty requirement. Accrediting bodies look at the diverse faculty members but notwithstanding to their national geopolitical and geocultural disciplinarities. Intertwined to these undertakings are the factors that are taken as myths to faculty diversification if we try to compare said practices to the American perspective. Hence, much more are to be taken from bench-marks if they really intend to manifest diversity in their faculty requirement. Corollary to the findings of Finkelstein [7, 8] in the case of the European countries, majority of the colleges and universities of Asia and the Middle East had not yet open their perspectives to the faculty diversification as they are still in the pursuit of re-conceptualizing their mission and vision towards internationalization in higher education.

3.2. The Major Benefits of Faculty Diversification in Higher Education to Student-Learning

Owing to the argument that a diverse faculty plays an integral part in the robust exchange of ideas in the academic learning environment, it is imperative that diversification of faculty should matter if academic institutions are to be effective in its mission and vision for the future.

The following are major concerns for its implementation: (1) a diverse teaching force offers an array of benefits to student-learners. Numerous studies and venerable researches show that a diverse teaching force and student body lead to great benefits in education [3, 8, 11, 14, 15]. Student-learners benefit much from their teachers who came from a diverse preparation, academic and cultural background in teaching and research. If educational institutions are to offer best standards of education which can be compared with the leading universities in the world, diversity should not only include obvious characteristics like gender, race and ethnicity, but also diversity in experience, research agendas, and pedagogical approaches. A faculty with diverse backgrounds and perspectives can strengthen the educational and research endeavors of higher education institutions while upholding rigorous standards for faculty achievement [3, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16]. This, in turn, benefits the student-learners as teachers are imperative to the need and the focus on extending tertiary education as a vehicle for long term human resource development [3, 7, 8, 9, 11].

3.3. The Evolving Faculty Diversification in Higher Education

Daryl Smith [12] explicated the necessity of educational institutions, particularly in higher education, to diverse its faculty with the advancement of science and technology. Institutions of higher learning should treat faculty diversification as they treat educational technologies. Colleges and universities across the world, particularly in the USA, have started to mull-over with radically new kinds of qualifications and experience among their prospective faculty and support teaching staff because of the increasing importance of educational technology in many disciplines. Technology’s growing prominence has also prompted a rise in interest in candidates with work experience in industry. Aptly, parallel to diversity is the argument that a diverse faculty can bring new scholarship to institutions, educate students on issues of growing importance to society, and offer linkages fostering quality education. [3, 13]

Table 1. Perceived Teaching Model Based on Faculty Diversification

Faculty diversification puts the fact that faculty came from various and diverse academic background, training and orientation at the forefront of their academic qualification and expertise in rekindling an increased prominence of the professional fields of higher education – the troika functions of instruction/teaching, research and extension/training. Diversity should be delineated in the contexts of customs, cultural and religious experiences, personal experiences, historical and political knowledge and much more [15, 17]. Thus, a diverse teaching force is imperative to the exposure of the student-learners to an array of ideas, cultures, behaviors, experiences and standards. Rekindling of faculty functions are reflected in Table 1 [7, 8].

On the bases of the emerging education models brought about by faculty diversification, colleges and universities try to re-classify and hire faculty members into 3 comprehensive roles based on their qualifications and expertise: Teaching-faculty, Research-faculty and Service-faculty. This phenomenon brings collaboration to increase the compelling excellence and functions of the comprehensive higher education: teaching/instruction, research and service.

Concomitantly, colleges and universities across the world are in constant stride to diversify their faculty owing to the need to accelerate higher education in reforming the world’s future. Looking at this higher education reforms, developed and developing countries, require a greater leap on the internationalized standard of education owing to the scope of their National systems of education [1, 7, 8].

Notably, faculty diversification marks a great implication to colleges and universities as they are ought to prepare future leaders to participate in the world of work and works in a diverse society. Not limited to the following are their direct impacts to the academic community: (1) helps fulfill the Mission and Vision of Higher Education. The overarching mission of higher education is to primarily prepare the young people for their future globalized tasks. This impinges tasks and obligation among institutions to provide greatest opportunities and optimal educational learning experiences in teaching, research and service; thus trying to train people from learning to live together in peace and harmony in a dynamic society [1, 3, 9, 10, 11]; (2) helps institution to achieve its Mission of Excellence in Teaching and Research. A diverse faculty brings forth the conglomeration of knowledge and understanding of the whats, whys and hows of the academic learning environment. This draws an array of perspectives that challenges complacency towards excellence [1, 3, 9, 10, 11]; (3) helps institutions prepare students to global reality. Diverse faculty offers an array of standard, strengths and viewpoints which are unique to one another. This allows them to enter into experiences to come across learning to understand the geographic differences of standards and culture across socio-cultural and political pluralism of the world [1, 2, 10, 11, 15]; (4) helps increase student learning and citizenship outcomes. Students with diverse faculty fosters an optimal educational experiences as faculty members offers an array of varied techniques based on their training, background and potentials. In their interactions with these varied faculty members, students learn to respect the diversity of the human race – culture, traditions and beliefs. Hence, they come to build greater respect and tolerance to the complexities of their openness to diversity and citizenship [1, 7, 8, 10, 15, 17]; (5) helps add multiple perspective and approaches to scholarly works. Diverse faculty increases the production of new knowledge in a multicultural perspective which designs a new educational platform for optimal educational experiences in the institution. Research findings show that it helps improve the academic and intellectual interaction of learners within the dynamic learning community [1, 2, 3, 14, 15]; (6) helps alleviate negative stereotypes reducing isolation. An environment with diverse faculty helps promote healthy environment offering a multicultural perspective on teaching, research and services. Faculty members may come across discussions across all levels of mental cognition. This further exudes their openness to new commodities in education, teaching, research and service. This environment creates a community of thrust and confidence in creating a community of peace and harmony in a diverse global academic community. Hence, it eliminates negative stereotypes about mental authority and expertise as it fosters collegiality and equality among the members of the faculty [1, 2, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21].

4. Conclusion

Faculty diversification fosters an array of geocultural and geopolitical interdisciplinarities in internationalizing higher education. This movement has made evolve educational model across the world – from the developed to the developing countries. Coupled with the mission to have comparable academic standards across continents, faculty diversification impinges a great impact on the mission and vision of colleges and universities, student learning, pedagogical interventions, research prowess and services; all to optimize educational learning experiences and excellence in teaching, research and training services. Concomitantly, it tries to offer the academic environment to experience a community that promotes peace and harmony preparing students for their global tasks as future leaders and workers in the acumen of internationalization in education and work globalization.

5. Recommendation

Owing to the findings of the study, the following are forwarded: (1) promote the adoption of the evolving educational model of the American-European University classifying faculty members based on their background and training; (2) diversify faculty requirement as it impinges optimal educational experiences and excellence in teaching, research and training services; (3) colleges and universities should go beyond the rhetoric of diversification and translate it into policy and action if they are committed to academic excellence in higher education (teaching, research and training services); and (4) develop a balanced faculty appraisal and an affirmative action of employment so as to rationalize equity among faculty member.


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