Leading with meaning: Why diversity, equity, and inclusion matters in U. S. higher education


  • Rachel Barnett University of Dayton




Higher education leadership, U. S. higher education, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Mission-driven


In Academic Leadership and Governance of Higher Education, Hendrickson, Lane, Harris, and Dorman (2013) argue that institutional decisions, adaptations, and activities of successful academic leaders need to be mission and value-focused.  Academic institutions value autonomy and expertise in decision-making, which necessitates that academic leaders “create and foster democratic partnerships with myriad constituents” (Hendrickson et al., 2013: 2) and organize their activities around a shared vision based on institutional mission and values.  In this paper, I review some recent research findings that demonstrate the need to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in U. S. higher education contexts as educators work to transform students into responsible citizens.  These findings highlight the need for academic leaders to consider how to best embody the mission and vision of their institutions as they frame diversity issues for the campus community, with a few additional considerations specific to religiously affiliated institutions.


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How to Cite

Barnett, R. (2020). Leading with meaning: Why diversity, equity, and inclusion matters in U. S. higher education. Perspectives in Education, 38(2), 20-35. https://doi.org/10.18820/2519593X/pie.v38.i2.02



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