Illusion of Inclusion: University Policies that Perpetuate Exclusion of Student of Color

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Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity


The purpose of this paper is to explore the policies, practices and procedures of inclusion across three universities in the San Francisco Bay Area: Stanford University, the University of San Francisco, and the University of California at Berkeley. Using a rubric which measures inclusion based on a three point set of criteria (equity, sustainability, and mission-alignment), the authors analyzed four common statements in which inclusion policies for traditionally marginalized students and students of color are contained: university mission statement, diversity program mission statement, diversity statement, and values/goals statements. The analysis revealed that although the values/goals statements align with the missions of the three institutions analyzed, there is often incongruence between the diversity program mission and diversity statements and the missions of the universities. This tension reflects the practice of institutions of higher education to draft policies that reflect inclusion language for diverse populations without making the necessary structural changes that impact values, attitudes, and practices.



minority students, diversity in higher education, inclusive education