Ajay Nair, who took over as Arcadia University president last year, has made increasing the diversity on the campus one of his priorities, writes Sarah Brown for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Nair, who is Indian American, was the only person of color in the executive cabinet when he joined Glenside-based liberal-arts college.
Now, in less than eighteen months, 40 percent of his team are people of color while 60 percent are women. Additionally, his governing board has increased racial diversity by almost 20 percent.
However, Nair, who is a scholar of race and ethnicity, emphasized that what he is doing is not about percentages.
It is about having leaders at the university who better reflect the backgrounds of the student body, as well as their points of view. It is about “diversity of thought,“ he said.
He also believes that higher education as a whole has to fix its problem of lack of diversity in leadership or it risks becoming stagnant.
“It will miss out on opportunities for innovation and creativity, and for really enhancing our efforts to improve student success through mentorship,” he said.
Read more about Arcadia University at The Chronicle of Higher Education by clicking here.