Enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a major priority for many colleges and universities. But why? What makes this issue so important?
According to Nancy Aebersold, founder and executive director of the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), enhancing DEI can help get us closer to education’s overarching goal: improving student learning and outcomes.
“Students benefit from seeing themselves mirrored in the front of the classroom, in the lab and in the highest levels of academic leadership,” Nancy said. “Diverse representation and inclusive learning environments provide inspiration and aspiration and help students believe, ‘I can be there, or I can achieve thought leadership in the profession I choose.’”
Not only does increasing DEI give students the opportunity to visualize a successful future, it also exposes them to more ideas and information.
“A diversity of perspectives produces a more energized and dynamic academic environment,” Nancy said. “People with different life experiences ask different questions. They enrich dialogs and may ignite contestation or disruption of the status quo, which fuels the creation of new knowledge, innovation and deeper understandings.”