An Inclusive Academy: Achieving Diversity and Excellence
Abigail Stewart is Sandra Schwartz Tangri Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the coauthor of
Virginia Valian is Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics, and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of
How colleges and universities can live up to their ideals of diversity, and why inclusivity and excellence go hand in hand.
Most colleges and universities embrace the ideals of diversity and inclusion, but many fall short, especially in the hiring, retention, and advancement of faculty who would more fully represent our diverse world—in particular, women and people of color. In this book, Abigail Stewart and Virginia Valian argue that diversity and excellence go hand in hand and provide guidance for achieving both.
Stewart and Valian, themselves senior academics, support their argument with comprehensive data from a range of disciplines. They show why merit is often overlooked; they offer statistics and examples of individual experiences of exclusion, such as being left out of crucial meetings; and they outline institutional practices that keep exclusion invisible, including reliance on proxies for excellence, such as prestige, that disadvantage outstanding candidates who are not members of the white male majority.
Perhaps most important, Stewart and Valian provide practical advice for overcoming obstacles to inclusion. This advice is based on their experiences at their own universities, their consultations with faculty and administrators at many other institutions, and data on institutional change. Stewart and Valian offer recommendations for changing structures and practices so that people become successful in ways that benefit everyone. They describe better ways of searching for job candidates; evaluating candidates for hiring, tenure, and promotion; helping faculty succeed; and broadening rewards and recognition.
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