How to Make College a Better Bet for More People
To explore how to lift people’s prospects, The Chronicle brought together a campus leader, a public official, a researcher, and a college counselor.
Ching et al. / NASPA / January 2018
A diverse faculty and staff reflects an important measure of success for higher education institutions. Recent gains in diversifying higher education have become more evident, as growing numbers of individuals from racialized minority communities have assumed senior executive leadership positions, from vice presidents for student affairs to presidents of colleges and universities.
Transformational Encounters: Shaping Diverse College and University Leaders is a collection of narratives and commentary from vice presidents for student affairs and other senior higher education leaders who have challenged racial injustice and policies to achieve inclusive excellence at their colleges and universities. These trailblazers candidly discuss the successes and barriers they surmounted in their careers, detailing the importance of key concepts such as collaboration, mentorship, personal and institutional values, and career mapping. They offer strategies for closing the racial and ethnic gaps in leadership roles.
Today’s students are challenging colleges and universities on issues related to equity, inclusion, diversity, power, and privilege. Transformational Encounters offers practical examples for student affairs professionals on how to balance being an advocate for students while fulfilling an institution’s educational mission. Commentary from NASPA Executive Director Emeritus Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy synthesizes lessons for student affairs educators, particularly addressing the dissonance that can exist between an institution’s stated values and actual practices.
Higher education is experiencing unprecedented transformation. With powerful and eye-opening perspectives on a wide range of critical social justice issues, Transformational Encounters provides student affairs professionals of all levels with tangible lessons for transforming colleges and universities into more equitable, inclusive, and socially just institutions of higher learning.
“Profoundly inspirational! This important book offers readers a series of transformational encounters with influential higher education and student affairs leaders. It reveals powerful lessons about the roles mentors, generous colleagues, friends, and sometimes strangers play in enhancing leaders’ lives and careers.” —Shaun R. Harper, Clifford and Betty Allen Professor, University of Southern California Rossier School of Education
“Transformational Encounters is a smart, thoughtful, and pacesetting collection of essays that will help us reimagine student affairs praxis. The beautiful narratives of the thought leaders in this volume provide extraordinary road maps for the next generation of leaders who seek positive transformation in the world.” —Ajay Nair, President, Arcadia University
“Transformational Encounters is an excellent resource for institutions that espouse a commitment to hiring racially and ethnically diverse leaders yet fail to enact this goal. The narratives and vital information contained in this book are instructive, honest, and can significantly contribute to the continued increase of senior higher education and student affairs professionals who can and will facilitate greater equity, diversity, and inclusion on college campuses across the country.” —Lori Patton Davis, Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs, Indiana University
“This book teaches us what other leadership books often ignore: lessons learned from the experiences of people of color who rise against adversity to become among the nation’s most exceptional leaders. These 10 highly respected higher education leaders provide an inspirational, thought-provoking account of leadership shaped by lessons from early upbringing, vigorous work ethic, mentoring, resilience, family support, social justice consciousness, and spiritual nobility. If you seek to join the ranks of the next generation of higher education leaders, look no further than these uplifting stories from extraordinary individuals to become your inspiration and to transform your own views of leadership itself.” —Laura I. Rendón, Author of Sentipensante Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice and Liberation
“This unique and highly readable book blends personal story-telling with professional analysis, making it a very useful guide for leadership development. The stories are not only engaging and inspirational, but also insightful and instructive. What is most impressive is these stories are being told by people of diverse backgrounds who are in or have been in high-level leadership positions, rather than by consultants or scholars who have never served in such positions.” —Bob H. Suzuki, President Emeritus, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
“Transformational Encounters is a thoroughly engaging and creative approach to the topic of leadership and leadership development. The book contains compelling narratives by 10 former or current senior leaders in student affairs about their journeys to their roles, along with the roles that mentors have played. Significantly, each chapter also includes brief commentary by the person who hired them. This book makes an important contribution to the literature on leadership and to leadership development efforts across the country.” —Daryl G. Smith, Senior Research Fellow and Professor Emerita of Education and Psychology, School of Educational Studies, Claremont Graduate University