Shared Equity Leadership: A Collective Approach to Promoting Equity on Campus

While diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become increasing priorities in higher education over the past several decades, the COVID-19 pandemic and recent political and social upheavals have added urgency to the cause. Higher education leaders can no longer ignore the importance of fostering diversity and inclusion and creating equitable opportunities and outcomes for students, faculty, and staff. Whether it’s working to diversify recruitment, interviews, and hiring of faculty in a department; ensuring that faculty of color or women are not systematically being denied promotions or tenure; looking at pay equity across groups; working on climate issues; or tackling inequitable graduation rates for students from different racial or socioeconomic backgrounds, leaders face a complex set of challenges. Many college and university leaders are struggling with how exactly to approach these challenges: Which equity goals should be prioritized? How can we ensure that multiple populations’ needs and voices are not only accounted for but actually centered as this work progresses? How do we break down systems and structures that inhibit equity? How do we hold people accountable for making change? These and many other questions continue to vex leaders as they work to implement equity agendas.

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