MSU Listserv


EQUITY Archives

EQUITY Archives


EQUITY@LIST.MSU.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Monospaced Font

LISTSERV at MSU

LISTSERV at MSU

EQUITY Home

EQUITY Home

EQUITY  August 2005

EQUITY August 2005

Subject:

Powerhouse Speakers

From:

Rudy Redmond <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Retention & Graduation Issues Concerning Minorities in Higher Education <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 18 Aug 2005 07:50:23 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (239 lines)

Powerhouse speakers address issue of
>socio-economic diversity during July symposium
>By Franklin Crawford
>
>ITHACA, N.Y. -- In a country where those with
>empty pockets rarely make the grade, U.S.
>colleges and universities share an increasing
>responsibility to identify, recruit and support
>promising students from low-income backgrounds.
>Achieving genuine diversity -- both of race and
>class -- remains one of the major challenges in
>the field of higher education in the 21st
>century. That challenge was addressed from a
>variety of perspectives during a Cornell
>University symposium in July featuring five
>current and former university presidents and
>scholars.
>
>Robert Barker/University Photography
>Claude Steele, director of the Center for
>Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford
>University, addresses a reporter's questions
>during a media session on diversity in higher
>education, July 30. Also pictured are Eugene
>Tobin, left, liberal arts colleges program
>officer at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and
>Nancy Cantor, president and chancellor of
>Syracuse University.
>
>
>The symposium, "Diversity and Excellence in
>American Higher Education: The Road Ahead," was
>organized by the Future of Minority Studies
>Research Project at Cornell. The theme was based
>on findings in the book "Equity and Excellence in
>American Higher Education" (University of
>Virginia Press, 2005) by William Bowen, Martin
>Kurzweil and Eugene Tobin, which argues that
>genuine diversity will not be achieved at U.S.
>colleges and universities without diversity of
>socio-economic class. Among its many facets, the
>book provides data tracking the influence of
>socio-economic status (SES) on students at 19
>highly selective universities and public schools.
>
>The authors conclude that qualified students from
>disadvantaged backgrounds who make it into the
>admissions pool deserve the same "thumb on the
>scale" given to children of alumni, athletes and
>other special groups. However, "economic or
>class-based affirmative action cannot take the
>place of race-sensitive admissions," said Tobin,
>addressing an audience of about 100 people in the
>Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium. Tobin is the
>liberal arts colleges program officer at the
>Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. While minority
>students make up a disproportionate share of
>those represented in the low-income strata, the
>overwhelming majority of these students are
>white. Replacing one policy with another would
>only reverse positive trends in an area of
>diversity where progress is evident.
>
>This is not only a question of access and equity,
>Tobin said, "it's also an issue of maintaining
>global competitiveness."
>
>"The U.S. has fallen to seventh or eighth in the
>world in terms of high school graduates, and the
>number of Americans moving beyond high school has
>plateaued -- and that's an extraordinary concern
>for all of us," he said. For many disadvantaged
>young people today, to even imagine attending
>college is such a remote idea that "we really
>have to address not only the information gap and
>deficit gap in terms of financial aid, but just
>the gap in terms of ambition and aspiration," he
>said.
>
>Nancy Cantor, chancellor and president of
>Syracuse University, said achieving access is one
>thing, but specific programmatic efforts are
>needed to encourage and cultivate a democratic
>culture on campus once students arrive. In her
>presentation, "Societal Faultlines and Democratic
>Culture," Cantor addressed the gap between
>intention and effect in dialogues within and
>across different groups.
>
>Robert Barker/University Photography
>Johnella Butler, recently appointed provost of
>Spelman College, describes the need for "an eager
>patience" in making changes in socio-economic and
>curricular diversity in higher education because
>"many of these changes will not occur in our
>lifetime." Also pictured is Daniel Little,
>chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
>
>
>"If universities are going to build democratic
>cultures that make the most of newly achieved
>access to opportunity for diverse students,
>faculty and staff, will we have to better
>understand how to embrace the principles of
>healthy group dynamics?" Cantor said, then added,
>"We are extraordinarily nave" in this area.
>
>Cantor also said universities in urban settings
>with large inner-city school systems also have a
>precollegiate responsibility "to get off the hill
>and into the school systems where these [low SES]
>students live -- and we also have to bring those
>students onto campus, beforehand, to demystify
>it. We have to create the expectation that
>students in inner cities have a right to own an
>institution and to have a sense of place in them."
>
>She described how Syracuse University is
>investing heavily in downtown properties and
>off-campus academic programs and also designing
>outreach programs that bring disadvantaged
>students onto campus.
>
>While achievement-oriented students of low SES
>rightly deserve attention, "the big problem is
>that so many young people come out of high school
>ill-prepared, often not ready to be qualified for
>higher education never mind selective
>universities," said Michael McPherson, former
>president of Macalester College and now president
>of the Spencer Foundation. He cited a study
>showing that, of students from the bottom third
>of a high school class, more than half who went
>onto postsecondary education "never earned a
>single credit."
>
>For the more qualified student, McPherson said
>the challenges include navigating a financial aid
>system that is "remarkably opaque and in many
>ways perversely designed," and he advocated a
>restructuring of the financial aid system.
>
>"Universities could do more to make it simpler to
>understand financial aid," he said. "There is
>actually quite a lot of money to help kids to get
>financial aid for good colleges."
>
>One experiment being conducted at the University
>of North Carolina-Chapel Hill replaced loans to
>low-SES students with grants. That approach has
>great potential. But as McPherson pointed out,
>UNC can afford to explore this option because
>they take on a smaller number of low-SES students
>than less-affluent schools.
>
>That irony was not lost on Daniel Little, who is
>chancellor at the University of
>Michigan-Dearborn, outside Detroit -- one of the
>most racially and economically divided cities in
>the United States. Little acknowledged the
>importance of expanding the admissions pools of
>low SES student at selective institutions while
>advocating for high-quality regional schools.
>
>"These institutions create a set of opportunities
>that mean that students from middle class to
>disadvantaged backgrounds can get a high-quality
>undergraduate education" at a fraction of the
>cost of an elite school, he said. However, state
>funding for regional schools is down across the
>country. Michigan-Dearborn alone has experienced
>a 13.6 percent decrease in state funding in four
>years, he said.
>
>"The democratic importance of good regional
>institutions is unmistakable and weighty, so the
>decline of funding is alarming," Little said. "We
>cannot preserve the parity of equity and
>excellence without adequate resources."
>
>Jeffrey Lehman, making one of his first public
>appearances since stepping down as Cornell
>president, spoke of the "paradox of living in a
>country of individuals who aspire to be fully
>integrated but that sits on a background that is
>segregated."
>
>During a morning media briefing, Lehman said,
>"The problem of transition is that there are no
>simple mechanisms, no color-blind systems that
>can get us from the background conditions to
>where we ought to be. We have to intervene in
>ways that are thoughtful and sensitive but that
>are aware of the role that race plays in society.
>We have to nudge people out of their comfort
>zones to where they can stretch themselves yet
>feel safe and that's a role the university can
>play."
>
>As a named defendant in Grutter v. University of
>Michigan , Lehman helped prepare the law school's
>successful defense of its affirmative action
>policy, shaping the legal argument for
>universities' freedom to consider race as a
>limited factor in the admissions process in order
>to achieve meaningful levels of racial
>integration.
>
>Claude Steele, director of the Center for
>Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford
>University, delivered a brief overview of his
>work in the area of stereotypes and how cues in
>the environment or from those in leadership
>positions can make or break a collegiate
>experience.
>
>Steele has developed the theory of the
>"stereotype threat" -- the threat of being
>perceived as a negative stereotype or the fear of
>poor performance confirming that stereotype -- is
>powerful enough to shape the intellectual
>performance and academic identities of entire
>groups of people, low-SES students included.
>Steele said everyone experiences "stereotype
>threat" because we are all members of some group
>about which negative stereotypes exist.
>
>He described some new research on the nature of
>group identity and its roots in the perception
>that one is under threat because of that
>identity. Steele said the tendency is to place
>the burden on students of color or low-SES as if
>there were something inherently wrong with them.
>Rather, he argued for simple efforts on the part
>of institutional leaders to create a more justly
>integrated environment for students who carry an
>unfair "psychic burden" whether because of race,
>class, gender or disability.
>>>

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

January 2020
March 2018
August 2017
February 2017
October 2016
July 2016
June 2016
April 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
August 2015
July 2015
May 2015
April 2015
February 2015
January 2015
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
July 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.MSU.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager