On Rationales

Educational leaders are recognizing that some populations have been dissuaded from perusing higher education because of attitudes, practices, and structures that prevented them from enrolling and studying. I hesitate to make a list of these populations as it will exclude some who have experiences of exclusion. 

For many educational leaders, the effort to increase the diversity of the populations on campus is a social justice issue; they reason “we should do it because it is the right thing to do.” Others see the practical effects, “our institution is made stronger and more effective when we include all perspectives and populations in our work.” Yet others argue from a very practical perspective, “we need to increase the enrollment of these populations as our traditional populations are shrinking.” 

Almost every initiative one encounters in educational can be interpreted through these there lenses:

  • Is it the “right” thing to do? (which is grounded in a simplistic view of ethics as a code of conduct)
  • Is it good for our students? (which is grounded in the purpose of education to provide excellent experiences for students)
  • Is it good for the institution? (which is grounded in business-like decision-making)