Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU)

FDU endorses this statement of the American Council on Education and joins other institutions of higher education across the country in supporting the Council's message entitled "On the Importance of Diversity in Higher Education." 

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On the Importance of Diversity in Higher Education

America's colleges and universities differ in many ways. Some are public, others are independent; some are large urban universities, some are two-year community colleges, others small rural campuses. Some offer graduate and professional programs, others focus primarily on undergraduate education. Each of our more than 3,000 colleges and universities has its own specific and distinct mission. This collective diversity among institutions is one of the great strengths of America's higher education system, and has helped make it the best in the world. Preserving that diversity is essential if we hope to serve the needs of our democratic society. 

Similarly, many colleges and universities share a common belief, born of experience, that diversity in their student bodies, faculties, and staff is important for them to fulfill their primary mission: providing a quality education. The public is entitled to know why these institutions believe so strongly that racial and ethnic diversity should be one factor among the many considered in admissions and hiring. The reasons include: 
 

  •    Diversity enriches the educational experience. We learn from those whose experiences, beliefs, and perspectives are different from our own, and these lessons can be taught best in a richly diverse intellectual and social environment. 
  •    It promotes personal growth--and a healthy society. Diversity challenges stereotyped preconceptions; it encourages critical thinking; and it helps students learn to communicate effectively with people of varied backgrounds. 
  •    It strengthens communities and the workplace. Education within a diverse setting prepares students to become good citizens in an increasingly complex, pluralistic society; it fosters mutual respect and teamwork; and it helps build communities whose members are judged by the quality of their character and their contributions. 
  •    It enhances America's economic competitiveness. Sustaining the nation's prosperity in the 21st century will require us to make effective use of the talents and abilities of all our citizens, in work settings that bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures. 

  • American colleges and universities traditionally have enjoyed significant latitude in fulfilling their missions. Americans have understood that there is no single model of a good college, and that no single standard can predict with certainty the lifetime contribution of a teacher or a student. Yet, the freedom to determine who shall teach and be taught has been restricted in a number of places, and come under attack in others. As a result, some schools have experienced precipitous declines in the enrollment of African-American and Hispanic students, reversing decades of progress in the effort to assure that all groups in American society have an equal opportunity for access to higher education. 

    Achieving diversity on college campuses does not require quotas. Nor does diversity warrant admission of unqualified applicants. However, the diversity we seek, and the future of the nation, do require that colleges and universities continue to be able to reach out and make a conscious effort to build healthy and diverse learning environments appropriate for their missions. The success of higher education and the strength of our democracy depend on it. 
     
    Endorsements 
    AACSB - The International Association for Management Education 
    ACT (formerly American College Testing) 
    American Association for Higher Education 
    American Association of Colleges For Teacher Education 
    American Association of Colleges of Nursing 
    American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy 
    American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers 
    American Association of Community Colleges 
    American Association of Dental Schools 
    American Association of State Colleges and Universities 
    American Association of University Administrators 
    American Association of University Professors 
    American College Personnel Association 
    American Council on Education 
    American Indian Higher Education Consortium 
    American Medical Student Association 
    American Society for Engineering Education 
    APPA: The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers 
    Association of Academic Health Centers 
    Association of American Colleges and Universities 
    Association of American Law Schools 
    Association of American Medical Colleges 
    Association of American Universities 
    Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities 
    Association of College Unions International 
    Association of Community College Trustees 
    Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges 
    Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities 
    Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations 
    College and University Personnel Association 
    Consortium on Financing Higher Education 
    Council for Advancement and Support of Education 
    Council of Graduate Schools 
    Council of Independent Colleges 
    Educational Testing Service 
    Golden Key National Honor Society 
    Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities 
    Law School Admission Council 
    Lutheran Educational Conference of North America 
    NAFSA: Association of International Educators 
    National Association for College Admission Counseling 
    National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education 
    National Association of College and University Business Officers 
    National Association of Graduate and Professional Students 
    National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities 
    National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges 
    National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators 
    National Association of Student Personnel Administrators 
    National Collegiate Athletic Association 
    National Council of Educational Opportunity Associations 
    NAWE: Advancing Women in Higher Education 
    New England Board of Higher Education 
    The College Board 
    The College Fund/UNCF 
    The Education Trust 
    University Continuing Education Association

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