ACCURATE PERCEPTIONS: RACE AND GENDER IN THE UNIVERSITY SETTING Alissa Kretzmann, Sarah Peters, Kelsey Gatza Comments about Diversity at Valparaiso University (VU) The Diversity and Inclusion Statement, as part of VU’s Vision Statement: Valparaiso University will be a diverse community, which includes and purposefully supports diversity in all aspects of university life and beyond. “I don’t think about issues of diversity very often.” “Please diversify!! That’s a big reason why people don’t come to campus.” “Ideally, gender and racial “I really representation do not “People should be hired would echo that of based on qualifications or care the general merit, not gender or population of about color.” qualified people diversity.” for the position.” “Diversity is silly, emphasizing it just perpetuates race issues.” “VU Diversity Rocks!” “There is good diversity at Valpo!” “Valpo is diverse internationally, but not domestically.” Aim of This Study Analyze the relationship between the perceptions of Valparaiso University students about the racial and gender diversity of VU’s administration and faculty in comparison with their own racial and gender identity. Compare the student estimates of diversity to the actual demographics of VU administration and faculty to determine if the students’ perceptions of diversity are accurate. Diversity in the University Setting Why Diversity? Increased diversity in America communities, employers and universities have had to address the diversity question Progress “In general, universities and colleges are far more diverse than three decades ago” (Conklin and Robbins-McNeish, 2006, p. 26). “While the student population has become more diverse, the faculty remains predominately white and male” (Conklin and Robbins-McNeish, 2006, p. 26). Why Faculty and Administration Diversity Matters Comfort on Campus Representation Administration and Faculty should mirror demographics of University student population Role Modeling Students feel comfort in places where their race/gender is represented Female/minority Administration and Faculty offer important role-modeling for female/minority students Preparation Students of all races and gender are better prepared for the world when they have diverse administration and faculty Contributing Factors “Pipeline Problem” Clustering of Minority Faculty and Administration Short Term Solutions “It is not enough to include value statements in the institution’s vision” (Page, 2003, p. 81). Systematic changes must be made Proposed Study Inspiration and Significance to the Researchers Our observations on campus Our study abroad experiences VU’s recent emphasis on diversity VU’s changing definition of diversity Confirmation of Study Lee’s study Research Hypotheses Research Hypothesis: There is a significant relationship between a student’s race or gender and the accuracy of their perception of diversity among VU administration and faculty. Null Hypothesis: There is not a significant relationship between a student’s race or gender and the accuracy of their perception of diversity among VU administration and faculty. Methodology Setting: Valparaiso University Campus located in Valparaiso, Indiana. Participants must be students at Valparaiso University. Questionnaire was distributed at four different “peak” times in VU’s student union. Questionnaire was also distributed to four different multicultural organizations. Asian American Association (AAA) Black Student Organization (BSO) Latinos in Valparaiso for Excellence (LIVE) Valparaiso International Student Association (VISA) All questionnaires were kept confidential and anonymous. Questionnaire Demographics Gender Race/Ethnicity Year in School Membership in a Multicultural Organization Rate their satisfaction with diversity at VU and its attempts to diversify the campus community. Estimate the percentages of the racial and gender makeup of the administration (Board of Directors, President, Provost, Managers, Administrative Deans, etc.) and full time faculty (professors) of VU. Report their ideal racial and gender makeup of VU’s administration and faculty. Demographics of Our Participants Sex Females: 102 (53.4%) Males: 88 (46.1%) Year Freshmen: 40 (20.9%) Sophomores: 49 (25.7%) Juniors: 65 (34.0%) Seniors: 34 (17.8%) 5th Year: 1 (.5%) Graduate: 2 (1.0%) Ethnicity/Race White/Non-Hispanic: 159 (83.2%) People of Color: 33 (16.2%) Asian: 11 (5.8%) Black: 8 (4.2%) Hispanic: 11 (5.8%) Native American: 1 (.5%) Pacific Islander: 1 (.5%) Other: 1 (.5%) Findings: Comparison of Participant’s Estimates to the Actual Demographics of Faculty and Administration Actual** White Participants Estimates People of Men Women Total Color Participants Participants Participants Participants Estimates Estimates Estimates Estimates Faculty: Women 37.0% 37.1%42.1% 34.6%39.6% 34.7%39.7% 38.7%43.7% 36.7%41.7% Faculty: People of Color 7.4% 18.1%23.1%* 14.4%19.4%* 17.6%22.6% 17.5%22.5% 17.5%22.5%* Admin: Women 47.9% 35.0%40.0% 33.1%38.1% 33.3%38.3%* 36.2%41.2%* 34.7%39.7%* Admin: People of Color 8.5% 17.0%22.0%* 17.1%22.1%* 18.4%23.4% 16.0%21.0% 17.0%22.0%* **The actual numbers come from the Department of Institutional Advancement and are from November 2009. Discussion of Results Fail to Reject Null Hypothesis: There was never a significant difference in mean estimates based on race or gender. Percentage of VU Administrators: Persons of Color Percentage of VU Administrators: Women Percentage of Faculty: Persons of Color Percentage of Faculty: Women Patterns There was a significant difference between all student group estimates and the actual percentage (exception: women faculty). Correlations Variable 1 Variable 2 Belief that administration/faculty is diverse in regards to gender Satisfaction with representation of one’s own gender Belief that administration/faculty is diverse in regards to race Satisfaction with representation of one’s own race Belief that administration/faculty is diverse in regards to race Estimation of percentage of administration/faculty who are persons of color Belief that administration/faculty is diverse in regards to gender Estimation of percentage of administration/faculty who are women An Interesting Find… In response to the statement, “Valparaiso University is a diverse community,” there was no significant difference between the responses of white participants and persons of color. On average, all participants answered “neutral” in response to that statement. Limitations of this Study Limited sampling size of persons of color Confusion about some questions on the questionnaire Unwillingness to answer certain questions (especially on table) Suggestions for future studies Explore further aspects of diversity (i.e. religious diversity) Improved Questionnaire Larger Sample Size Implications of This Study Our findings suggest that students generally overestimate the diversity of VU administration and faculty. More consistency VU should adhere to their hiring statement. Students reported a desire for more diversity When brought to people’s attention, interest is sparked in regards to administration and faculty diversity. References Conklin, W., & Robbins-McNeish, N. (2006). Four barriers to faculty diversity. Diversity Factor. pp. 26-33. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?hid=15&sid= 108bfc09-ee9c-4b01-95aa1400416aea60%40sessionmgr14&vid=8 Eckes, S. E. (2005). Diversity in higher education: the consideration of race in hiring university faculty. Brigham Young University Education & Law Journal, (1), 33-51. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?hid=15&sid=108bfc09-ee9c-4b01-95aa1400416aea60%40sessionmgr14&vid=12 Lee, J. (2010). Students’ perceptions of and satisfaction with faculty diversity. College Student Journal, 44(2), 400-412. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?hid=15&sid=108bfc09-ee9c4b0195aa1400416aea60%40sessionmgr14&vid=18&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN= 51362172 Page, O. (2003). Promoting diversity in academic leadership. New Directions for Higher Education, (124), 79-86. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?hid=15&sid=108bfc09-ee9c-4b01-95aa1400416aea60%40sessionmgr14&vid=20 Status of ethnic and racial diversity in college and university administration. (2009). ASHE Higher Education Report, 35(3), 11-30. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?hid=15&sid=108bfc09-ee9c4b01-95aa-1400416aea60%40sessionmgr14&vid=27 Tapia, R. (2010). Broadening participation: hiring and developing minority faculty at research universities. Communications of the ACM, 53(3), 33-35. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?hid=15&sid=108bfc09-ee9c-4b01-95aa1400416aea60%40sessionmgr14&vid=31 Taylor, O., Apprey, C., Hill, G., McGrann, L., & Jianping, W. (2010). Diversifying the faculty. Peer Review, 12(3), 15-18. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?hid=15&sid=108bfc09-ee9c-4b01-95aa1400416aea60%40sessionmgr14&vid=34 Questions?