Racial Conflict in a Higher Education Policy Vacuum

Refining data from an earlier, and larger, study published in 2021 from interviews about campus racial conflict with 35 students, faculty, and higher education and student affairs professionals split between a minority-serving university and a historically white campus, Blanca Elizabeth Vega takes a closer look at the institutional training on racial conflict a subgroup of 14 higher education and student affairs professionals had received.

Vega, an associate professor of higher education at Montclair State University, examines whether institutional policy vacuums exist at the two universities, how these 14 student affairs professionals address racial conflict in their campus settings, and how those strategies were obtained. Grounded in earlier research where policy vacuums existed that left student affairs leaders and other faculty and staff with little or no institutional guidance on racial conflict, Vega sifts through the structured interviews with four Black women, four Latina women, three Black men, two white men, and one Afro-Latina woman—all higher education and student affairs managers—to determine if, and how, they received training in understanding and responding to racial conflict.

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  • Steve Chaplin

    Steve Chaplin is managing editor of ACUI’s The Bulletin and manager of the ACUI College Union and Student Activities (CUSA) Evaluation Program. A former newspaper writer, editor, and manager, he has volunteered as a student mentor as a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and received awards for his writing and reporting from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Kentucky Education Association, and the Kentucky Press Association.

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