present to ensure the success of efforts to enhance the institutional climate for diversity. These include:

  • The need for “holistic” institutional change. Evidence suggests that efforts to enhance diversity require comprehensive, systematic changes in the ways that institutions value and respond to diversity. By themselves, “added-on” diversity programs (e.g., sensitivity training, cultural programs, and workshops) are unlikely to affect meaningful change absent systematic, integrated diversity efforts.

  • The need for strong institutional leadership. Institutional leaders—including university presidents, deans, governance bodies, department chairs, and other administrators—must clearly articulate the importance of diversity for the institutional mission. In addition, institutional leaders must establish clear expectations for all students, faculty, and staff regarding diversity goals and the roles all members of the campus community must adopt to attain these goals.

  • The need for a long-term perspective. Academic institutions are slow to change. In addition, the history of diversity efforts in higher education suggests that improvements are often modest and ebb and flow with changing policy contexts, social attitudes, and resource constraints. A long-term perspective is needed to maintain the institutional commitment to diversity and realize gains over time.

  • The need for adequate resources. In the current fiscal climate, almost all academic institutions are facing tight budgets and limited resources. Institutional diversity efforts, however, cannot be developed and implemented without adequate resources to invest in programming, training, support services, and other tools that are an important aspect of a comprehensive diversity plan.

  • The need for planning and evaluation. Institutions should develop long-range diversity plans and regularly evaluate the effectiveness of diversity efforts, with an eye toward modifying the plan where necessary.

Support for the importance of these conditions for diversity efforts is summarized in this chapter. These efforts require strong, sustained institutional commitment and support from many sectors of the university community. As will be discussed below, such changes can be expected to result in tangible benefits for training institutions and their students, including improvements in pedagogy and educational outcomes for all students, as well as better care for the patient populations that these institutions serve.


As noted above, earlier discussions of diversity in this report have focused on efforts to improve the structural diversity within health profes-

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