Organizational Support and Management
Diversity in education is an expression that refers to the presence on campus of individuals -- particularly students, but also faculty and staff -- from a wider variety of backgrounds than was typical in even the relatively recent past. A century ago, higher education in the United States was nearly confined to white males, mostly from privileged backgrounds. Even in primary education other students were underrepresented, and commonly relegated to second-class status when present. Only in the past three decades has a positive effort made to be more inclusive in education -- embracing women, minorities, the disabled, and others -- and this effort remains ongoing.
With growing diversity comes the need to deal with it, from encouraging it at admissions to ensuring that students once admitted do not become "invisible" to the institution or to other students. It has come to be widely (though, as will be seen, not universally) acknowledged that dealing with diversity requires a positive effort, including programs and institutional structures devoted to that purpose.
Typical of such programs is the Diversity Support and Education Center established by the Affirmative Action Office at the University of Pennsylvania. This center provides services and resources across a broad scope, including needs assessment, educational training, and a library of diversity-education materials. It also provides courses or workshop programs. These range from "Diversity in the Changing Workplace," a general overview, to "The Diversity Leader," a program designed for managers, evidently within the university but presumably applicable to anyone anticipating a management role in the future ("Diversity Support," n.d.).
Programs designed to support diversity in education are not confined to American universities. Quite similar programs, for example, have been established in Australia, a c