Date of this Version
This session presents a framework for implementing diversity initiatives in century-old organizations located in rural communities. By utilizing “change agents” composed of faculty mentors for students of color and an inclusive committee, the campus community starts the process of diffusing the "valuing diversity" initiative into its social system. This process brings into focus the challenges and limitations of time-honored traditions for predominantly white institutions when encountering the "traditions-of-struggle" for people of color. The process examines the pervasiveness of student concerns by utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methods. The impact on recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff of color is discussed.