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Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education

Joseph E. Garcia and Karen J. Hoelscher

Covering a timely topic, which is more and more frequently in the news, this book offers vignettes that will sharpen the reader's ability to recognize and respond to difficult situations sparked by identity differences among faculty, staff, and students in college and university settings. The authors provide a systematic guide to addressing interpersonal conflicts that arise out of issues of identity difference, both for individuals and for campus work teams who provide direct service to students. Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education empowers readers to diagnose diversity flashpoint situations and positively address them without creating defensiveness and barriers to dialogue. The authors include an overview of the changing ethnic, racial, and gender composition of students in higher education in the United States and the major trends in campus responses to the changing student population. They offer an approach to creating higher education environments that welcome people of all cultural characteristics and promote civility on campus. The book is founded on the authors' research on diversity flashpoints in higher education for which they interviewed a national sample of student affairs professionals. The authors identified uncomfortable interpersonal situations with faculty members in which the discomfort arose from student identity difference. This process led to the formulation of strategies for using vignettes (resulting from interviews) in professional development sessions. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / Amer Council Ed Ace (Post Acq)
Pages: 160Size: 6 x 9 1/4
978-1-60709-652-8 • Paperback • March 2010 • $32.00 • (£22.95)
978-1-60709-653-5 • eBook • April 2010 • $30.00 • (£19.95)
Joseph E. Garcia is the Bowman Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies and director of the Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership at Western Washington University. He is president of the Management Faculty of Color Association and serves on a number of editorial boards in the fields of management and management education.
Karen J. Hoelscher is professor of elementary education in the Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University. In 2001, Hoelscher received Western Washington University's Diversity Achievement Award.
1 Preface
2 Introduction
3 Diversity Trends: Implications for Campuses
4 Diversity-Friendly Campus Climates
5 Learning
6 Communication
7 Understanding Diversity Flashpoint Situations
8 Going Local
9 Anticipating Future Challenges
10 Appendices
11 Index
As conversations about diversity take place more and more frequently on campuses across America, the need for advisors to develop institutionally aware, diversity-friendly environments in which to promote student success has never been greater. Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education by Joseph E. Garcia and Karen J. Hoelscher, provides a framework upon which advisors and other faculty or administrators can build as we interact with students who may encounter identity-based challenges in higher education.

NACADA Journal

Garcia and Hoelscher have given us, not only an erudite and insightful analysis for understanding diversity-driven communication difficulties, but also provided us a utilitarian tool for addressing these difficulties. The book is a well-researched and well written work that takes an action-based approach to handling difficult situations. Wisely, the authors have couched their advice in the tradition of professional development, rather than character improvement. Going from problem to theory to action, Garcia and Hoelscher provide insightful ways of thinking about diversity-related strain and turn those into methods to improve 'diversity self-efficacy.' This book should be on the shelf of every administrator and manager in institutions of higher education as a resource and training tool.
Martin M. Chemers, chair and professor of psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz; formerly acting chancellor, University of California, S

Garcia and Hoelscher have provided a blueprint for closing the gap between interest and action, theory and practice, planning and implementation in dealing with diversity training. This is a how-to book based on sound principles of learning, intercultural communication, and interpersonal skills. As a student affairs professional I applaud this effort. It is timely and useful for professionals and faculty in academic settings. It is a refreshing approach that provides the tools to build a more tolerant and inclusive community on our college and university campuses.
Saundra Taylor, senior vice president of campus life, University of Arizona

In Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education, Garcia and Hoelscher offer a practical guide to coping with difficult interpersonal issues on campus. Through anecdotes, exercises, and classroom notes, the authors encourage us to challenge our definitions of diversity and to be mindful of the opportunities associated with difference.
Kathleen McCartney, dean and Gerald S. Lesser Professor in Early Childhood Development, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Joseph Garcia and Karen Hoelscher have written an important book that takes the diversity discussion to a new and much more specific level, where it belongs. This book and its vignettes should be used in courses and trainings for students, faculty, and administrators to break down stereotypes and create a culture of tolerance and open communication that meets the fundamental mission of a university. All of us need a new language—vocabulary, syntax, and grammar—for discussing perceived differences and creating more understanding around our actual commonalities. My hope would be that the students, faculty, and administrators using this work carry it into other institutions, corporations, nonprofits, and public agencies, to raise our 'diversity IQ.'
Milton Chen, executive director, George Lucas Educational Foundation, San Rafael, California

Within two hundred pages, Garcia and Hoelscher introduce us to the realities—content and process—of 'diversity flashpoints.' Through a language that is both clear and accessible, we gain a thorough appreciation of the complexities inherent to these interpersonal clashes of past experiences and current perspectives. Spanning over a century of related literature in the art and skill of teaching and learning and leadership and communication in individuals, groups, organizations, and communities, Managing Diversity Flashpoints in Higher Education deftly interweaves erudite concepts with everyday vignettes. In short, this book is a must-read for all who care about recognizing and transcending culturally-rooted microagressions to enable establishing and sustaining, mutually affirming relations with others.
Darlyne Bailey, dean and assistant to the President Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development College of Education and Human