Advancing diversity and inclusion through multilevel strategic leadership

Wednesday 1:00pm - 4:00pm Brighton 3/4
Pre-Conference Workshop

Kathy Takayama, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Matt Kaplan, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Alison Cook-Sather, Bryn Mawr College

Advancing diversity and inclusion involves working at multiple levels across the entire institution (AAC&U, 2015), and bridging levels always raises complexities (Cook & Sorcinelli, 2005). While catalysts for change can emerge from any of the levels, lasting change entails careful thought about ways to strategically expand impact by crossing into the other levels of the system.

In this workshop, we will share strategies represented as cases from three distinct institutions to address the dynamic relationship between university-wide leadership efforts (macro), interactions and initiatives at the school/college or department level (meso), and efforts by individual instructors and activists to create change in their own classrooms or more broadly at their institutions.

Each case highlights catalysts for, considerations regarding, and approaches to advancing diversity, in relation to the mandates, challenges, and possibilities in our respective contexts. Participants will have the opportunity to use a framework developed by Kezar, Gehrke, and Elrod ("Implicit Theories of Change as a Barrier to Change on College Campuses: An Examination of STEM Reform," Review of Higher Education 38, no. 4, Summer 2015) as a starting point or to review their own institutional contexts to identify both cross-context and institution-specific approaches to advancing diversity.

The workshop will begin with an overview of each of the case studies. Participants will develop a planning process for applying the Kezar framework, and identify strategic entry points and/or partnerships for leadership pathways.

Finally, we also introduce a process for participants to consider in conjunction with the Kezar framework: a strategy for organizational change management. Participants will consider core stages (planning, leadership, communication) that form the basis for successful change management (Jones & Harvey, 2017; Ruben, 2009; Ruben, De Lisi, & Gigliotti, 2016). They will critically evaluate how their multi-level strategies for change are aligned with a carefully considered strategy for change management.

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