Diversity in Master of Public Administration Programs at Minority-Serving Institutions

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1 Diversity in Master of Public Administration Programs at Minority-Serving Institutions Sarmistha R. Majumdar and Michael O. Adams Texas Southern University ABSTRACT The concept of diversity among students and faculty in Master of Public Administration programs at minority-serving institutions has remained unexplored over the years. Past studies have reported on diversity in public affairs programs at traditionally white institutions. Given the current emphasis on diversity as the United States transforms itself into the most diverse advanced nation in the world, this exploratory study was undertaken to fill the existing gap in the literature on diversity at minority-serving institutions. Survey methodology was used to collect information from administrators on various aspects of diversity. The survey findings offer some valuable insights into the current status of diversity in enrollment and employment at minority-serving institutions along with a variety of perspectives on the issue. The findings also make evident the need for more to be done to promote and manage diversity in these institutions without losing sight of their original mission and goals. KEYWORDS Diversity, demographics, public administration, minority-serving institutions Gradual changes in the structural composition of the U.S. population have made diversity one of the hallmarks of our society. As a result of increases in demographic diversity, the United States is on a path of transformation into the most ethnically diverse advanced nation in the world (Kotkin, 2010). Scholars also predict that demographic diversity in urban environments is likely to lead to higher wages and rents and make U.S.-born citizens more productive (Ottaviano & Peri, 2006). Our use of the word diversity is not limited to ethnic and/or racial diversity. It refers here to acceptance and respect for differences in individuals race, gender, physical abilities, and sexual orientation. The media has played an important role in drawing attention to the various aspects of diversity and has called for greater responsiveness at all levels of government to the varied needs of a diverse population. Starting in the 1960s, the federal government made concerted efforts through its Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub. L ) to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, national ori gin, sex, and religion. The following year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established to oversee enforcement of the act. In 1972, with the passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, the EEOC received additional authority to litigate based on administrative findings and its jurisdiction was expanded (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2013). In the 1990s, JPAE 21 (2), Journal of Public Affairs Education 215

2 S. R. Majumdar & M. O Adams with the passage of the Americans With Disabilities Act (Pub. L , 1990), disability was added to the existing list of conditions for which discrimination was prohibited. Over time, the EEOC s responsibilities to prohibit discrimination and promote diversity in a community have enhanced the importance of the organization. Affirmative action programs, which provide opportunities to minorities, women, disabled individuals, and others, have helped to promote and sustain diversity in the workplace and at educational institutions. Currently, diversity in the workplace has become one of the cornerstones of high organizational performance that complement organizational values of teamwork, leadership, empowerment, and service quality (Duncan, 2013, p. 1). To foster diversity in the workplace and at educational institutions, scholars have recommended that diversity be adopted as an organizational goal and followed by the development of processes and decisions on how to effectively manage strategies that are geared toward the attaining and sustaining diversity in the long run (Morrison, 1992; Thomas, 1991). Such recom mendations have led to initiatives in both the private and the public sector to recruit and retain a diverse workforce that mirrors the diversity in society (Ospina, 2001). These initiatives have led to the corporate world and educational institutions becoming increasingly demo graphically diverse over the last decade (Mannix & Neale, 2005), and the trend continues unabated. In educational institutions, the commitment to promote diversity is often premised on the belief that diversity among students and faculty can help to optimize both teaching and learning and enhance both parties ability to attain educational objectives (American Council on Education and American Association of Univer sity Professors, 2000). Evidence of this can be found in an earlier survey that investigated diversity in educational institutions and found that 50% of the top selective liberal arts colleges already have a mission statement that includes learn perspectives from diversity (Gudeman, 2000, p.40). Findings from another national and comprehensive survey of major universities revealed that students learning experiences are enriched in a diverse environment and that faculty diversity is equally important in both teaching and learning (Maruyama & Moreno, 2000). Such evidence has led many researchers to concur that diversity in educational environments exposes students to a vast array of scholarly perspectives that come from individuals different life experiences (Humphreys & Association of American Colleges and Universities, 1998). Studies have been conducted on diversity in public affairs programs at several universities. However, these studies have focused on diversity initiatives at historically white universities (HWUs). Little or no information exists on diversity in public affairs programs at minorityserving institutions (MSIs), which are mainly historically black colleges and universities (HB- CUs) and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs). Given this lack of information, this study has made an attempt to investigate diversity in public administration programs that offer Master of Public Administration (MPA) degrees at HBCUs and HSIs. The main research question posed in this exploratory study is this: To what extent have MSIs embraced diversity in their public administration programs? In seeking an answer to this question, various aspects of diversity ranging from recruitment of faculty to curriculum content have been explored, along with respondents perceptions of diversity. Survey methodology was used to collect information for the study. The utility of this exploratory study lies in filling the gap in the existing literature on diversity in public administration programs at MSIs. This study is expected to shed some light on the topic of diversity at MSIs and perhaps even initiate a dialogue among researchers on diversity in the fields of education and public administration. LITERATURE REVIEW The Need for Diversity in Educational Institutions In the United States, cultural diversity is often con sidered an asset. A nonhomogeneous population tends to think, solve problems, and make 216 Journal of Public Affairs Education

3 Program Diversity at Minority-Serving Institutions decisions differently (Lazear, 1999), which helps to spur innovations and greater creativity. An earlier study by Pascarella, Whitt, Nora, Hagedorn, and Terenzini (1996) on stu dent learn ing and diversity revealed that students interactions with peers from diverse back grounds, both in and out of class, helped to promote their appreciation and acceptance of cultural, racial, and value diversity. In the years since, several studies on the impact of diversity in postsecondary education have confirmed that students exposure to diversity helps them to develop critical thinking skills, a salient goal of high er education (Astin, 1993a; Chang, 1999, 2001; Dey, 1991; Gurrin, 1999, Hu & Kuh, 2003; Hurtado, 2001; Jayakumar, 2008; Kim, 1995, 1996; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). In an educational environment, three aspects of diversity emphasis on the concept of diversity, faculty diversity, and direct student experiences with diversity have the potential for signifi cant positive impact on a number of important college outcomes (Astin, 1993b). In 2010, a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin Madison s Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) confirmed that diversity adds to the strength, productivity, and intellectual capacity of edu cational insti tutions and enriches the environ ment for teaching and research. These ideas were also found in a study by Loes, Pascarella, and Umbach (2012). Additionally, the aforementioned WISELI study emphasized the need for an institutional policy on diversity to expose students to a wide range of individuals, ideas, and perspectives and thereby advance students intellectual missions. We reviewed the historical acceptance of the idea of diversity in educational institutions and found that its roots can be traced back to civil rights legislation and social policy. Social policy, coupled with the many benefits of diversity and the strong support that it has received from elites, the corporate world, and the military (Lipson, 2007), helped many universities to embrace diversity in the 1970s. Upon accepting diversity, many universities redesigned, institu tionalized, defended, and transformed their affirmative action policies to promote diversity in the educational environment (Lipson, 2007). Even universities with legal bans on race-based affirmative action created innovative race-neutral policies to promote diversity on their campuses (Lipson, 2007). Such legal bans even prompted some educational institutions to include diversity as one of their guiding principles, consequent upon the realization that abandonment of race-sensitive admissions and hiring would only hinder the creation of the diverse environment that is conducive to student learning. Advancements in diversity in educational institutions have not been without hindrances, however. In some educational institutions, the tendency to marginalize diversity still exists. This is due neither to neglect nor to innocent omission. It can be partly attributed to the consequences of power relations within the educational system and to the subtle presence of institutional racism (Cummins, 1997), which leads to the failure to detect connections between personal, institutional, and cultural levels of racism (Dominelli, 2002). In view of such fallacies in institutional commitments to diversity, what needs to be determined is whether a positive institutional commitment to diversity really exists or whether diversity initiatives are just a type of defensive approach to risk management (Rivera & Ward, 2008a). There is an existing framework that helps to gauge the climate of diversity in an educational institu tion (Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Peder sen, & Allen, 1998) and can be useful in this task. This framework takes into consideration the historical legacy (inclusion and exclusion of different racial and ethnic groups), structural diversity (group numbers), psychological climate (perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs), and beha vioral climate (interaction be tween groups) and then processes the information to describe the prevailing climate of diversity in colleges and universities. Diversity and Public Administration In the field of public administration, scholars agree that diversity helps to promote democratic citizenship by making students realize how their lives are influenced by others (Gurin, Nagda, & Journal of Public Affairs Education 217

4 S. R. Majumdar & M. O Adams Lopez, 2004). Some scholars have even con tended that students exposure to diverse perspectives helps to enrich their learning experiences and enhances their competence as practitioners in dealing with the problems and delivery of public services in a diverse society (Brintnall, 2008; Carrizales, 2010; Rice, 2007; Rivera & Ward, 2008b). Others have recommended that the curriculum in public affairs programs should help prepare students to meet their democratic responsibilities for the efficient governance of a diverse society (Gooden & Portillo, 2011). Organizational diversity must also be included in human resource curricula since it is an ethical and a pragmatic requirement for effective public administration (Johnson & Rivera, 2007, p. 15). Despite such recommendations, the concept of diversity has been relatively neglected in curricu lum offerings and scholarship in public affairs programs (Hewins-Maroney & Williams, 2007). Faculty cannot be solely blamed for this, as the decision to incorporate diversity-related materials into courses is based on faculty members perceptions of their department s commitment to diversity-related initiatives (Mayhew & Grunwald, 2006). The lack of diversity existing in curricula and hiring practices at both accredited and nonaccredited public affairs programs (Johnson & Rivera, 2007) has been a concern since the 1960s, and there has not been much change to the status quo in the present century (Ryan, 2012). Also, to reiterate, these studies on diversity have been limited to public affairs programs at HWUs. Prior to this study, our efforts to obtain information on diversity at MSIs proved futile. The only information available on diversity at MSIs was on ethnic diversity (Pitts & Jarry, 2007). Diver sity is both a virtue and value (Nelms, 2012) that should not be overlooked, even at MSIs, even in the current century. Although the mission of MSIs is to provide educational opportunities to minority populations, MSIs existence within a diverse society also carries responsibilities to help prepare minority students to meet the challenges of a diverse society. There have been limited efforts to promote diversity at MSIs. In 1977, a federal court order was issued that required what was then the De partment of Health, Education and Welfare to devise guidelines for HBCUs to comply with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and to attain racial diversity among both students and faculty (Roebuck & Murty, 1993). Currently, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) requires MPA programs to fulfill the criterion of diversity to attain and maintain an accredited status, whether the program is located in an HWU or an MSI. Other efforts to incorporate diversity in educational institutions to reflect the diversity in society and convey a message of acceptance include two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have sent mixed messages to educational institutions. In 2013, a Supreme Court ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin rendered support for the maintenance of diversity in educational institutions. It even prompted the Obama administration to urge colleges and universities to use admissions as a tool to increase diversity on campuses, because a rac ially diverse educational environment is likely to help students succeed in a diverse world (Hefling, 2013). In early 2014, in another ruling, the Supreme Court ruling contradicted itself by upholding Michigan s ban on racebased college admissions (Liptak, 2014). Although the latter ruling dealt a blow to the promotion of race-based diversity in educational institutions, leaders in education have vowed to find an alternative path to promoting diversity in student bodies (Lewin, 2014). METHODOLOGY This study used a qualitative survey metho dology to collect information on diversity mainly from HBCUs and HSIs that offer MPA degrees. HSIs were included because there is a dearth of literature on diversity at these institutions. A questionnaire on diversity was developed to probe the status of diversity and the online tool SurveyMonkey was used to launch the survey. There were 21 questions in the survey, and most were closed-ended. A pilot survey was conducted in early summer 2013, prior to the 218 Journal of Public Affairs Education

5 Program Diversity at Minority-Serving Institutions administration of the final survey. The survey was ed to MPA programs at MSIs and took respondents 10 to 12 minutes to complete. A stratified sample was used in the study with a total of 49 MSIs that offered either accredited or nonaccredited MPA programs. These MSIs were identified and selected from NASPAA s list of schools, and their minority status was confirmed with the U.S. Department of Education s list of MSIs. The survey was launch ed TABLE 1. Demographics of Minority-Serving Institutions Offering Master of Public Administration Degrees Types of MSI (n = 29) Public: 86% Private: 14% Private independent: 10% Private religiously affiliated: 4% MSI classification (n = 25) HBCU: 86% HIS: 36% MPA program accreditation (n = 29) NASPAA accredited = 66% Not NASPAA accredited = 34% Faculty status (n = 27) Full time: 55% (171) Adjuncts: 39% (120) Lecturers/instructors: 6% (18) Faculty gender (n = 27) Male: 60% Female: 40% Physical location (n = 27) Large metropolitan area: 48% Mid-sized city: 41% Small city: 7% Rural area: 4% Status of survey respondent (n = 27) Administrator (chair/director of MPA program): 67% Faculty: 26% Other: 7% Notes. MSI = minority-serving institution. MPA = Master of Public Administration. HBCU = historically black college or university. HIS = Hispanic-serving institution. Number of responses to each question varies as some respondents did not answer all survey items. in the summer of After a few rounds of ing, the survey was finally completed in early fall The response rate to the survey was 63%. The official status of survey re spondents ranged from program chair to MPA director to faculty in the MPA program. In answering the survey questions, the re spondents expressed their personal opinions on diversity based on their observations of diversity-related initiatives in their program. Demographics of the programs and the respondents are presented in Table 1. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION In the following sections, the survey findings are presented along with discussion of each topic under the respective headings. Student and Faculty Diversity Survey respondents from MSIs were asked various questions on the topic of diversity. One of the questions asked was if their institution had a plan to admit students with diverse backgrounds and recruit faculty and instructors with diverse backgrounds into its MPA program. As seen in Table 2, 37% of respondents indicated that their MSI had a plan to admit diverse students and 11% stated that a plan was in the process of development. Nearly half of the respondents indicated their MSI had neither any plan for admitting students of diverse backgrounds (30%) nor any felt need to develop such a plan (15%). With respect to faculty recruitment, about 63% of the respondents indicated that their MPA programs at MSIs had a plan to increase faculty diversity, 4% stated that such a plan was in the process of development, 26% had no such existing plan, and 7% did not even perceive the need for such a plan. From the survey findings, it was evident that at the MSIs offering MPA degrees, there is more emphasis on initiatives to diversify the faculty than to diversify the student body. Such a finding is not surprising. The weaker emphasis on student diversity can be partly attributed to the fact that more nonminority students are already attracted to professional degree pro grams in high-demand fields at MSIs than to the same schools undergraduate programs (Closson & Journal of Public Affairs Education 219

6 S. R. Majumdar & M. O Adams TABLE 2. Plans to Promote Diversity in MPA Programs Through Student and Faculty Recruitment of Students and Faculty Plan to promote diversity Have a plan Plan being developed MSIs No plan No need for a plan Other Among students 37% 11% 30% 15% 7% Among faculty 63% 4% 26% 7% 0% Notes. MSI = minority-serving institution; MPA = Master of Public Administration; n MSIs = 27. Henry, 2008). Also, MSIs already have a considerably diverse student population, com pris ing domestic minorities and nonmin ority whites along with international students who are non- American Caucasians, Asians, Cari b beans, and Africans from African countries (Nahal, 2009). Tables 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, and 3e show the survey findings on MSI faculty demographics in terms of racial composition, gender distribution, disability status, sexual orientation, and urban ization. In Table 3a, a gender imbalance is evident at different types of faculty positions in the MPA programs at MSIs. Of full-time faculty TABLE 3a. Gender Diversity of Faculty at MSIs with MPA Programs Faculty status Male Gender Female Full-time 63% 37% Adjunct 55% 45% Lecturer/instructor 61% 39% Total 60% 40% Notes. MSI = minority-serving institution; MPA = Master of Public Administration; n MSI locations = 27. positions at all levels, 63% are held by male faculty and only 37% by female faculty. A similar difference exists at the ranks of lecturer and instructor. Among adjunct faculty, the gender gap is not as great. The gender imbalance at all levels is partly attributed to fewer women and minority candidates applying for faculty positions based on their perceptions of the likelihood of getting a job or of not being welcome (Trower & Chait, 2002). A partial remedy to the situation calls for the use of different strategies to attract women and minority candidates, but little or no institutional efforts exist to attract these types of candidates (Valian, 2004). It is evident from Table 3b that the highest percentage of faculty at MSIs are Caucasian (29%), followed by Asian/Pacific Islanders (23%), and African Americans (22%). The high concentration of white faculty at MSIs can be partly attributed to three things: First, white faculty were the first to be recruited at HBCUs, many of which were first started by churches and missionary societies. Second, in some states (e.g., Texas), many existing HWUs have been recently designated as HSIs to serve the increasing minority population of the state. Third, diversity initiatives have been least successful in recruitment of a diverse faculty, despite the passage of affirmative action several decades ago (Smith, Turner, Osei-Kofi, & Richards, 2004). 220 Journal of Public Affairs Education

7 Program Diversity at Minority-Serving Institutions In a cross tabulation of faculty gender and the geographic location of the MSIs, it becomes evident that gender diversity tends to vary with location type. As observed in Table 3c, despite the overall predominance of men in faculty positions at all location types, the difference in gender diversity (i.e., the percentage difference between male and female faculty in an MPA program) is likely to be smaller in MPA programs located in mid-sized (22%) and small cities (26%) than in programs located in larger metropolitan cities (28%). The difference in gender diversity is most prominent in rural areas (60%). The latter can be partly attributed, perhaps, to greater reluctance among women candidates to apply for jobs in rural areas. Another cross tabulation, of the racial composition of faculty with the geographic location of the MSI (see Table 3d), revealed that in mid-sized and small cities, there is likely to be less diversity in the racial composition of faculty than found in MSIs located in larger metropolitan areas. It is also evident from Table 3d that MPA programs at MSIs located in rural areas have little or no racial diversity in their faculty composition. Inquiry into disability status, another aspect of diversity, revealed that only 11% of the MPA programs at MSIs had faculty with disability status, while 89% did not. In response to a TABLE 3b. Racial Diversity of Faculty at MSIs with MPA Programs Race Faculty Caucasian 29% African American 21% American Indian 1% Hispanic/Chicano/Latino 18% Asian/Pacific Islander 23% Other 8% Total 100% Notes. MSI = minority-serving institution; MPA = Master of Public Administration; n faculty = 27. question on the sexual orientation of faculty, 37% of respondents reported that they did not know, 37% stated that their program did not have LGBT faculty, and only 26% reported any LGBT faculty teaching in the program. See Table 3e. Curriculum Content Student and faculty participation in diversityrelated activities is essential in maintaining a TABLE 3c. Cross Tabulation of Gender Diversity of Faculty and Location of MSIs with MPA Programs Gender of faculty Location of MSI Large metropolitan area Mid-sized city Small city Rural area Male 64% 61% 63% 80% Female 36% 39% 37% 20% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% Notes. MSI = minority-serving institution; MPA = Master of Public Administration; n MSI locations = 27. Journal of Public Affairs Education 221

8 S. R. Majumdar & M. O Adams TABLE 3d. Cross Tabulation of Racial Diversity of Faculty and Location of MSIs with MPA Programs Location of MSI Race of Faculty Large metropolitan area Mid-sized city Small city Rural area Caucasian 31% 27% 33% 33.3% African American 24% 21% 17% 0% American Indian 3% 0% 0% 0% Hispanic/Chicano/Latino 18% 21% 17% 0% Asian/Pacific Islander 21% 21% 33% 33.3% Other 3% 10% 0% 33.3 % Total 100% 100% 100% 100% Notes. MSI = minority-serving institution; MPA = Master of Public Administration; n MSI locations = 27. climate of diversity in any academic program in higher education (WISELI, 2010). One of the survey questions asked to what extent students and faculty participated in diversity-related activities. The survey found that 60% of the MSIs MPA programs organized diversityrelated activities for both students and faculty once or twice a year, and 14% hosted activities three to four or more times per year, while 26% did not host any diversity-related activities. To probe the MPA programs commitment to diversity, respondents were asked this question: Does the MPA program offer student-related activities such as exchange programs, outside of course offerings, to promote and understand diversity-related issues? The majority of MPA programs at MSIs did not offer student-related activities to promote diversity. Only 7% of respondents reported that their program hosted activities frequently; another 7% reported doing so often; and 11% reported occasionally arranging these types of activities. All other respondents reported hosting these activities rarely or never. This finding points to a deficiency and hints at the need for MPA programs at MSIs to focus on such activities to help students gain greater competence in operating in a diverse world. Perspectives on Diversity Respondents were asked 10 survey questions about their perspectives on diversity, and their views are reported in Table 4. It is evident from this table that the majority of MPA programs at MSIs do consider diversity to be an ethical and pragmatic requirement of the program and do believe that it can help the program achieve some of its educational goals and objectives. The respondents agreed about the need to incorporate diversity into the MPA curriculum, and agreed that faculty and adjuncts with diverse backgrounds contribute to the enrichment of students experiences in the program. Furthermore, the respondents believe that diversity should be valued for its own sake and ought to be used as a marketing tool in recruiting students to the program. In response to a question gauging the belief that affirmative action law is adequate to promote diversity in their MPA program, 37% of the of respondents disagreed, 30% agreed, 222 Journal of Public Affairs Education

9 Program Diversity at Minority-Serving Institutions 22% remained neutral, and 11% did not answer the question. When respondents were asked if they believed that activities and events aimed at promoting diversity were a waste of time and money in an MPA program, 66% disagreed, 19% agreed, 11% remained neutral, and 4% did not answer the question. Also, a majority of the respondents (70%) disagreed that an institutional plan on diversity was sufficient to promote diversity in the program. Apparently, respondents believe there is a need for a distinct plan at the program level. In probing opinions on NASPAA s requirement for a diverse faculty in an MPA program s ac creditation and maintenance of accredited sta tus, 41% of the respondents rendered sup port for such an objective, 37% did not support it, and TABLE 4. Perspectives on Diversity Among Respondents to the Survey of MPA Programs at MSIs Percentage of respondents Perspectives on diversity Diversity is an ethical and pragmatic requirement of an MPA program. Diversity can help to define and achieve some of the goals and objectives of an MPA program. It is important to incorporate diversity into curriculum. Diverse faculty and adjuncts can enrich students experiences in classrooms. We should recognize, value, and market diversity to attract more students to the MPA program. Affirmative action law is adequate to promote diversity in the program. Activities and events aimed at promoting diversity are a waste of time and money in an MPA program. A plan for diversity should exist only at the institutional level and is not necessary at the program level. Faculty diversity should play no role in accreditation and maintenance of accredited status in an MPA program. Lack of funding and other resources serve as obstacles in recruitment and retention of diverse students in the program. Limited funding and a limited pool of diverse candidates serve as obstacles to hiring and retention of diverse faculty in the program. Agree Neutral Disagree Don t know n 81% 11% 8% 0% 27 85% 11% 4% 0% 27 88% 8% 0% 4% 27 96% 4% 0% 0% 27 74% 11% 11% 4% 26 30% 22% 37% 11% 27 19% 11% 66% 4% 26 15% 11% 70% 4% 27 37% 18% 41% 4% 27 67% 7% 22% 4% 27 59% 11% 19% 11% 27 Journal of Public Affairs Education 223

10 S. R. Majumdar & M. O Adams 11% remained neutral. Additionally, a consensus seemed to exist among most respondents that the limited funding at MPA programs posed obstacles to the admission of a diverse student body and to recruitment of a diverse faculty from what is believed to be a limited pool of candidates. Such findings indicate that awareness of diversity does not necessarily aid in the implementation of plans to enhance it. Ob stacles such as resource shortages or conflict with institutional goals may hinder an MPA pro gram from achieving its goals in terms of admission and recruitment of students and fac ulty from diverse backgrounds, as well as in terms of the organization of diversity-related activities. CONCLUSION This study helps to provide information about the status of diversity in MPA programs at MSIs and about program faculty and staff perspectives on several aspects of diversity. The limitations of the study lie in its small sample size, which makes the study exploratory in nature. Many of the findings are worthy of further investigation and validation with a larger sample size. Nevertheless, the study kindles a greater interest in diversity at MPA programs at MSIs and the authors expect more robust contributions to the topic in the future. The overall findings suggest that awareness and some amount of diversity exists in MPA programs at MSIs. These findings share some similarities with studies done on HWUs in the past (Trower & Chait, 2002). It is important to note that although MPA programs at HWUs and MSIs are encouraged to promote the same concept of diversity to its fullest extent, de fi ciencies continue to exist at both institutional types. To address these deficiencies, several steps can be taken, varying in magnitude and type. Differences in the treatment of deficiencies can be partly attributed to the availability of resources to pursue diversity initiatives and to conflict, if any, with an institution s mission and goals. In some MSIs, such as HBCUs, frequent resource shortages hinder the adoption of diversity initiatives in MPA programs, and sometimes their institutional goals and objectives might conflict with their missions. Nevertheless, just as more needs to done to promote diversity at HWUs (Cummins, 1997; Johnson & Rivera, 2007), the findings of this study recommend the same for MPA programs at MSIs. To make this possible, more money should be made available to MSIs (Palmer, Davis & Gasman, 2011) and to resource-poor HWUs through grant funding from public and private agencies committed to promoting diversity. Any existing conflicts between diversity initiatives and institutional or MPA program goals should be negated through the development of a strategic plan that is in harmony with both. In view of some of the challenging needs in the field of higher education, MSIs need to take measured and disciplined steps to attain and/or sustain diverse climates in their programs and on their campuses. For example, HWUs are using race-based affirmative action as a diversity-management technique despite the debates over its morality and legality (Lipson, 2007). MSIs ought to adopt a similar approach to managing diversity-related initiatives. Additionally, HBCUs, which have a long tradition of recruiting a diverse faculty and admitting international students, cannot afford to focus on race and ethnic diversity alone. Although a linguistically and culturally diverse environment helps students and faculty realize and understand the need to collaborate and negotiate among different groups (Cummins, 1997), other aspects of diversity, such as gender imbalances, disability, and sexual orientation, must be addressed to create a real diverse environment. Such an endeavor will not lead to deviation from MSIs core values and mission to educate underrepresented individuals. Increasing diversity can only help MSIs to succeed in the highly competitive business of higher education (hbcudiversity.org, 2004). Additionally, MPA programs at MSIs need to focus on integrating diversity into educational 224 Journal of Public Affairs Education

11 Program Diversity at Minority-Serving Institutions curricula, activities, and other management initiatives. The latter can include organization of activities and exploration of developing exchange programs with MPA programs at HWUs. Exchange programs are valuable in that there is so much to learn from another s experiences, including perceptions of race and racism, teaching style, administrative challenges, and feelings of isolation and uncertainty in an environment where one is temporarily a minority (Hall & Closson, 2005). Introduction of study abroad programs, if possible, would also prove beneficial and would enable many minority students to experience a diverse culture in a foreign land for the first time in their lives; enhance their knowledge and perspectives on public administration; make them more appreciative of a diverse populace; and prepare them to operate efficiently in a diverse society. Gender imbalances in MPA programs need to be addressed through plans to recruit more female faculty members. The other two aspects of diversity, disability status and sexual orientation, merit equal consideration in admission of students and recruitment of faculty. In view of MPA programs consensus on lack of funding posing an obstacle to diversity initiatives, there exists a need to look into more innovative and cost-effective techniques for MSIs to embrace diversity beyond race and ethnicity. Cutbacks in funding over the last few years, along with increasing pressure to boost the enrollment figures of minorities at these institutions, have made diversity initiatives take a back seat. Despite such challenges, to remain viable in the field of higher education, MSIs need to pay more attention to diversity by adopting it as a guiding principle in their approaches to reducing incidences of margin alization of any single group and enabling both students and scholars to make great strides in the field of education. To address the deficiencies in diversity in MPA programs at MSIs, we recommend the use of an existing framework on diversity (Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Pedersen, & Allen, 1998) to gauge the current status and to develop a strategic plan with diversity as an important objective without posing any threat of disruption to culture or deviation from the original goals of the MSI. Later, a plan should be developed, implemented, and monitored to gauge its cost and effectiveness in achieving the desired diversity outcomes. To help MSIs adopt best practices in the management of diversity initiatives, we recommend that future researchers look into best practices in the management of diversity initiatives at HWUs and then determine the feasibility of their adoption at MSIs. Such research can help MSIs reap the many benefits of diversity in a diverse society like ours. REFERENCES American Council on Education and American Association of University Professors. (2000). Does diversity make a difference? Three research studies on diversity in college classrooms. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from NR/rdonlyres/F1A2B22A-EAE2-4D31-9F68-6F E/0/2000_diversity_report.pdf Astin, A. W. (1993a). Diversity and multiculturalism on the campus: How are students affected? Change, The Magazine of Higher Learning, 25(2), Astin, A. W. (1993b). What matters in college? Four critical years revisited. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Brintnall, M. (2008). Preparing the public sector for working in multiethnic democracies: An assessment and ideas for action. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 14(1), Carrizales, T. (2010). Exploring cultural competency within the public affairs curriculum. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 16(4), Chang, M. J. (1999). Does racial diversity matter?: The educational impact of a racially diverse undergraduate population. Journal of College Student Development, 40(4), Journal of Public Affairs Education 225

12 S. R. Majumdar & M. O Adams Chang, M. J. (2001). Is it more than about getting along?: The broader educational implications of reducing students racial biases. Journal of College Student Development, 42(2), Closson, R. B., & Henry, W. J. (2008). Racial and ethnic diversity at HBCUs: What can be learned when whites are in the minority? Multicultural Education, 15(4), Cummins, J. E. (1997). Cultural and linguistic diversity in education: A mainstream issue? Educational Review, 49(2), Dey, E. (1991). Community service and critical thinking: An exploratory analysis of collegiate influences. Paper presented at the conference on Setting the Agenda for an Effective Research Strategy for Combining Service and Learning in the 1990s, Racine, WI. Dominelli, L Anti-oppressive social work: Theory and practice. London: Palgrave-MacMillan. Duncan, A. (2014, December 9 ). Memorandum to all department employees: Policy statement on diversity, inclusion and respect (U.S. Department of Education Web posting). Retrieved from divpolstate.pdf Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2013). 35 years of ensuring the promise of opportunity. Retrieved from eeoc/history/35th/history/ Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, 570 U.S. (2013), Docket No Frederickson H. G. (2008). Social equity in the twenty-first century: An essay in memory of Philip J. Rutledge. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 14(1), 1 8. Gooden, S., & Portillo, S. (2011). Advancing social equity in the Minnowbrook tradition. Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, 21(Suppl. 1), i61 i76. Gudeman, R. H. (2000). College missions, faculty teaching, and student outcomes in a context of low diversity. In American Council on Education and American Association of University Professors (Eds.), Does Diversity Make a Difference? Three Research Studies on Diversity in College Classrooms (pp ). Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from EAE2-4D31-9F68-6F E/0/2000_ diversity_report.pdf Gurin, P. (1999). Expert report of Patricia Gurin. In The compelling need for diversity in higher education, Gratz et al. v. Bollinger et al. No (E.D. Mich.) and Grutter et al. v. Bollinger et al. No (E.D. Mich.) (pp ). Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan. Gurin, P., Nagda, B.A., & Lopez, G. E. (2004). The benefits of diversity in education for democratic citizenship. Journal of Social Issues, 60(1), hbcudiversity.org. (2004). Principles and standards of good practice to achieve diversity and multiculturalism at HBCUs. Retrieved from extension.org/mediawiki/files/c/cb/hbcu_ BestPractices pdf Hall, B., & Closson, R. B. (2005). When the majority is the minority: White graduate students social adjustment at a historically black university. Journal of College Student Development, 46(1), Hefling, K. (2013, September 27). Obama administration pushes colleges on diversity. The Huffington Post, Retrieved from Hewins-Maroney, B., & Williams, E. (2007). Teaching diversity in public administration: A missing component? Journal of Public Affairs Education, 13(1), Hu, S., & Kuh, G. D. (2003). Diversity experiences and college student learning and personal development. Journal of College Student Development, 44(3), Humphreys, D., & Association of American Colleges and Universities. (1998). Higher Education, Race & Diversity Views from the Field. Washington DC: Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse. Hurtado, S., Milem, J. F., Clayton-Pedersen, A. R., & Allen, W. (1998). Enhancing campus climates for racial/ethnic diversity: Educational policy and practice. The Review of Higher Education, 21(3), Hurtado, S. (2001). Linking diversity and educational purpose: How diversity affects the classroom environ ment and student development. In G. Orfield (Ed.), Diversity Challenged: Evidence on the Impact of Affirmative Action (pp ). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Educational Publishing Group. 226 Journal of Public Affairs Education

13 Program Diversity at Minority-Serving Institutions Jayakumar, U. M. (2008). Can higher education meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and global society? Campus diversity and cross-cultural workforce competencies. Harvard Educational Review, 78(4), Johnson, R. G., III, & Rivera, M. A. (2007). Refocusing graduate public affairs education: A need for diversity competencies in human resource management. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 13(1), Kim, M. (1995). Organizational effectiveness of womenonly colleges: The impact of college environment on students intellectual and ethical development. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, CA. Kim, M. (1996). The effectiveness of women-only colleges for intellectual development. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY. Kotkin, J. (2010, May). Growing America: Demographics and destiny. Governing. Retrieved from Lazear, E. (1999). Culture and language. Journal of Political Economy, 107(6), Lewin, T. (2014, April 22). Colleges seek new paths to diversity after court ruling. The New York Times. Retrieved from Liptak, A. (2014). Court backs Michigan on affirmative action. The New York Times. Retrieved from Lipson, D. N. (2007). Embracing diversity: The institutionalization of affirmative action as diversity management at UC-Berkeley, UT-Austin, and UW- Madison. Law and Social Inquiry, 32(4), Loes, C., Pascarella, E., & Umbach, P. (2012). Effects of diversity on critical thinking skills: Who benefits? The Journal of Higher Education, 83(1), Mannix, E., & Neale, M. (2005). What differences make a difference? The promise and reality of diverse teams in organizations. Psychology in the Public Interest, 6, Maruyama, G., & Moreno, J. F. (2000). University faculty views about the value of diversity on campus and in the classroom. In American Council on Education and American Association of Uni ver sity Professors (Eds.), Does diversity make a difference? Three research studies on diversity in college classrooms (pp. 8-35). Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from EAE2-4D31-9F68-6F E/0/2000_ diversity_report.pdf Mayhew, M. J., & Grunwald, H. E. (2006). Factors contributing to faculty incorporation of diversity related course content. The Journal of Higher Education, 77(1), Morrison, A. (1992). The new leaders. Guidelines on leadership diversity. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Nahal, A. (2009). Tending to diversity at an HBCU. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 26 (20), Nelms, C. (2012, November 26). Beyond the rhetoric: Diversity matters. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from Ospina, S. (2001). Managing diversity in the civil service: A conceptual framework for public organizations. In UNDESA-IIAS (Eds.), Managing Diversity in the Civil Service (pp. 5 10). Amsterdam: IOS Press. Ottaviano, I. P., & Peri, G. (2006) ). The economic value of cultural diversity: Evidence from US cities. Journal of Economic Geography, 6(1), Palmer, R. T., Davis, R. J., & Gasman, M. (2011). A matter of diversity, equity and necessity: The tension between Maryland s higher education system and its historically black colleges and universities over the office of civil rights agreement. The Journal of Negro Education, 80(2), Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Pascarella, E. T., Whitt, E. J., Nora, A. N., Hagedorn, L. S., & Terenzini, P. T. (1996). Influences on students openness to diversity and challenge in the first year of college. The Journal of Higher Education, 67(2), Pitts, D. & Jarry, E. (2007). Ethnic diversity and organizational performance: Assessing diversity effects at the managerial and street levels. International Public Management Journal, 10(2), Journal of Public Affairs Education 227

14 S. R. Majumdar & M. O Adams Pub. L , 88th Cong, 78 Stat. 241 (1964) (enacted). Pub. L , 101st Cong., 104 Stat. 327 (1990) (enacted). Rice, M. F. (2007). Promoting cultural competency in public administration and public service delivery: Utilizing self-assessment tools and performance measures. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 13(1), Rivera, M. A., & Ward, J. D. (2008a) Social equity, diversity, and identity: Challenges for public affairs education and the public service. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 14(1), ii viii. Rivera, M. A., & Ward, J. D. (2008b). Employment equity and institutional commitments to diversity: Disciplinary perspectives from public administration and public affairs education. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 14(1), Roebuck, J. B., & Murty, K. S. (1993). Historically black colleges and universities: Their place in American higher education. Westport, CT: Praeger. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Sarmistha R. Majumdar is associate professor in the MPA program at Texas Southern University. She specializes in analysis of policies related to transportation, environment, and other social issues. Her research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. She has also presented papers at many conferences and participated in several grant-funded research projects. Michael O. Adams is interim chair of the department of political science, director of the NASPAA-accredited Master of Public Administration program, and founding director of the Online Executive Master of Public Administration program at Texas Southern University. He serves as the interim director of the Barbara Jordan Research Institute and is a tenured professor, teaching classes in public admini stration and political science while contribut ing to the academic body of knowledge through research. Ryan, S. E. (2012). Assessing diversity in public affairs curriculum. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 18(4), Smith, D. G., Turner, C. S., Osei-Kofi, N., & Richards, S. (2004). Interrupting the usual: Successful strategies for hiring diverse faculty. The Journal of Higher Education, 75(2), Thomas, R. R. (1992). Beyond Race and Gender: Un leashing the Power of Your Total Workforce by Managing Diversity. New York: American Management Association. Trower, C. A. & Chait, R. P. (2002). Faculty diversity: Too little for too long. Harvard Magazine. Retrieved from Valian, V. (2004). Beyond gender schemas: Improving the advancement of women in academia. NWSA Journal, 16(1), University of Wisconsin-Madison s Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI). (2010). Benefits and challenges of diversity in academic settings. Retrieved from wisc.edu/docs/benefits_challenges.pdf 228 Journal of Public Affairs Education

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