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Abstract

Diversity has become a contentious theme woven throughout many different aspects of higher education. Multiculturalism, ethnic studies, women's studies, curriculum reform, strategies for increasing access and opportunity to the under-represented and under-served and improving campus climate have all been vehicles to promote and further diversity initiatives. Diversity stands to challenge much of what has been the traditional views of higher education. The efforts to promote multiculturalism and diversity have caused the academy and the enterprise of higher learning to introspectively examine and reexamine its values, beliefs and relationships to a much larger society. American higher education now sees itself in the midst of a changing world that is redefining both societal and economic needs. These changing needs have raised some unexplored and profound questions with regards to diversity. Why should higher education be concerned with issues of diversity? Who should be educated? What role should higher education take in educating a pluralistic citizenry? Must the aims and purposes of higher education be redefined entirely? In what ways does diversity significantly expand the body of knowledge in the academe? What are the implications for this expansion? What are the pedagogical and policy implications of diversity? And what of the even more idealistic question that higher education may be grappling with: can we change the world? These questions, as well as others, will continually be placed on the table for discourse by scholars, legislators, governing boards, students and citizens.

 

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