First Advisor

Craig Shinn

Term of Graduation

Winter 2009

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration and Policy


Public Administration




Higher Education, Cultural pluralism -- Education (Higher), Diversity in the workplace Education (Higher), Universities and colleges -- Social conditions, Sex discrimination in higher education.



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, x, 215 pages)


Universities in the United States increasingly experience demographic, business, and community pressure to hire, retain, and educate women and ethnic minority faculty, staff, and students. Responses to this pressure have changed over time from isolated open-door initiatives to comprehensive diversity initiatives designed to create welcoming campus environments for people of all backgrounds. Current literature on the assessment of diversity initiatives in higher education suggests the need to use approaches that include attention to the entire university, and to institutionalize the norms and values associated with diversity initiatives as part of the change process. Despite this shift toward a comprehensive understanding of the university, there has been very little focus on comparing the staff and faculty experience of diversity in American university settings.

Using a framework developed from structural, institutional, and feminist and multicultural organizational theories, this research begins to fill that gap. Through a survey of faculty and staff at three universities, this research measures levels of institutionalization of diversity and gender equity norms and values, and uses hierarchical block regression to construct models for faculty and staff which predict institutionalization. These models include four blocks of potential contributors to institutionalization representing organizational-, departmental-, and individual-level variables.

The findings suggest the importance of including factors at all three organizational levels when modeling the institutionalization process for staff and faculty.The findings also reveal that in each case, the model constructed for the research describes the faculty experience more accurately than the staff experience, indicating the need to more fully articulate the staff model. Specific contributors for staff and faculty are discussed and compared to determine similarities and differences in the institutionalization processes for each group.

The results of this research are framed using institutional theory and feminist and multicultural theories, and inform current literature on universities as professional bureaucracies. Further, the results help universities better understand the impact of their diversity initiatives and more carefully target those initiatives to their various audiences.


In Copyright. URI:

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier