Moving beyond the rhetoric on faculty diversity in higher education: an interview with diversity expert Dr Bailey Jackson

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion







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Purpose: The aim of this article is to provide Dr Bailey Jackson's perspective on institutional and systemic barriers to full inclusion of diverse faculty in higher education through the lens of the multicultural organizational development (MCOD) model. Dr Jackson is renowned for his work on social justice, diversity and multiculturalism. Design/methodology/approach: This is a personal interview with Dr Bailey Jackson. This interview provides insight on institutional level change efforts through the MCOD framework, a perspective on why institutions get stuck on the way to becoming healthy multicultural institutions, and the effect on moving the needle on faculty diversity in institutions of higher education. Findings: The institutional obstacles and barriers tend to be centered around misalignment with the mission, vision and core values, and how those are formulated to include diversity and inclusion. Faculty diversity is only one component in dealing with the health of any organization or the academy as a whole. If institutions focus on diversity faculty in an unhealthy system, they will encounter limitations on how much the institution will develop on the MCOD continuum. The health of the overall system is going to affect the approach to faculty diversity. Practical implications: Dr Jackson provides insight on his work with the MCOD framework and specifically the overall health of the institution as critical to faculty diversity initiatives. Questions to help institutions begin to assess themselves and identify changes required to move toward Multicultural within the context of faculty diversity are provided. Originality/value: Through a series of questions, insight from Dr Jackson on why institutions get stuck in moving the needle on faculty diversity through the lens of the MCOD framework is gained.


Faculty diversity, Higher education, MCOD, Multicultural, Social diversity, Social justice