From affirmative action to diversity : rationales for faculty diversification efforts in a state anti-affirmative action regulatory environment

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This dissertation examines how state bans on affirmative action affect rationales for diversity in faculty recruitment and hiring at a public university and a private university. The study is motivated by concerns regarding the ability of universities to attract a diverse professoriate, particularly within an anti-affirmative action climate. The study employs a qualitative research design and uses a framework that incorporates concepts from neoinstitutional theory. Interviews with 21 faculty and administrators from a public university and a private university coupled with a review of documents from both universities form the basis of the analysis. The two universities examined in this study navigated the state anti-affirmative action regulatory environment similarly and drew upon a nearly identical set of rationales to support faculty diversity policies and practices. Affirmative action programs were eliminated or reconstituted into programs that were legally permissible. Explicit discussions of affirmative action have been largely replaced with a broadening use of the term "diversity." Faculty accounts reveal myriad interpretations of the diversity rationale, leading to heightened confusion in faculty search deliberations. The state anti-affirmative action regulatory environment did not result in diversity no longer mattering in higher education; rather, it changed how diversity mattered. The study generates knowledge about the relationship between public policy and higher education and produces insights on whether universities acquiesce to or resist pressures to alter behavior and rationales as a result of public mandates. The study also illustrates how the interaction of internal and external pressures for and against affirmative action in faculty searches leads to how faculty recruitment and hiring policies are understood, re-interpreted, and put into practice. Ultimately, the study furthers our understanding of the regulatory factors that may contribute to the persistent underrepresentation of scholars of color.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2012
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Muniz, Marcela Maria
Associated with Stanford University, School of Education.
Primary advisor Antonio, Anthony Lising, 1966-
Thesis advisor Antonio, Anthony Lising, 1966-
Thesis advisor Gumport, Patricia J
Thesis advisor Jiménez, Tomás R. (Tomás Roberto), 1975-
Thesis advisor Strober, Myra H
Advisor Gumport, Patricia J
Advisor Jiménez, Tomás R. (Tomás Roberto), 1975-
Advisor Strober, Myra H


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Marcela M. Muniz.
Note Submitted to the School of Education.
Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2012
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2012 by Marcela Maria Muniz
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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