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The Influence of Campus Racial Climate on Diversity in Graduate Education

From: The Review of Higher Education
Volume 35, Number 4, Summer 2012
pp. 535-566 | 10.1353/rhe.2012.0031



Persistent disparities in doctoral degree completion have led many institutions to hire graduate diversity officers (GDOs) to increase the presence of underrepresented minorities in graduate programs. This qualitative study of 14 GDOs considers how the dimensions of campus racial climate (CRC) influence the ability of GDOs to carry out this work. Findings suggest CRC can be applied to understanding institutional processes that affect diversity, and that internal and external climate-related forces affect the GDO’s recruitment and retention efforts. Thus, universities must go beyond demonstrating institutional commitment by creating GDO positions and attending to CRC to increase graduate diversity.