Chief Diversity Officers' Perceptions of Institutionally Sustainable Diversity Programs

Rong Wang, Tennessee State University


This exploratory and descriptive study investigated the degree to which a NACUBO Economic Models Project framework is perceived by Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) as being a relevant tool for sustaining diversity core values in institutional diversity program operations. In response to the rapidly changing demographics of the United States and the financial challenges higher education faces in the 21st century, colleges and universities must make efforts to be inclusive and diverse as well as economically sustainable. However, higher education institutions are challenged with sustaining institutional diversity operations due to a variety of reasons and circumstances, including the decline of public financial support; inability to implement diversity plans; and, the lack of support, leadership, and infrastructure. Isolated diversity initiatives with superficial achievement gains have made limited impact on institutional change, culture, climate, and finance, leaving colleges and universities in need of a solution to assure that diversity goals and objectives remain a stable and sustainable institutional core value. The findings indicated that CDOs’ perceptions of operations and outcomes that lead to institutional sustainable diversity were aligned with the NACUBO Economic Models Project framework: (a) institutional mission (b) organizational structures; (c) institutional competencies, capacity, and processes; and, (d) resource acquisition and allocation strategies. In CDO’s perceptions of institutional sustainable diversity aligned with the NACUBO economic framework, no statistically significant differences were found between female and male CDOs, nor between private and public institution CDOs and CDOs with less than or more than 10 years of experience.

Subject Area

Education finance|Higher Education Administration|Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

Rong Wang, "Chief Diversity Officers' Perceptions of Institutionally Sustainable Diversity Programs" (2017). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10742874.