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VSAR 102 Avalos

Step 1

Diversity in Academe (Start Here)

This is a quick guide to assist you in finding material on diversity issues in various universities and their units. This will take a few simple steps.

Make your research easier on yourself by using a more specific term or sub-topic than the broad term 'diversity'. Here are some suggestions and these can be narrowed even more:

  • Disability
  • Gender (including LGBTQ, transexual, etc.)
  • Behaviors (microagression, exclusion, etc.)
  • Race or Ethnicity
  • Language
  • Culture
  • Affirmative action
  • Stereotyping
  • Inclusion
  • Exclusion
  • Equal opportunity or equity

If you are having trouble thinking about some sort of diversity issue, a check of the daily news has plenty of examples! Many student-run newspapers are now available online and can be searched for diversity issues. The archive of the CSUSM student newspaper is available for 1990-2015 as well as current issues and has brought awareness to the campus community on a variety of diversity issues.

The examples here are drawn from our website at CSUSM, but can be used with any university's site.


Finding a university

Some university web sites are not easy to search due to poor indexing, page design, or no search engine. A way to find information in this situation is by using advanced Google search tools such as site restrictions or double quotes.

Type the diversity topic word(s) you are researching such as:

student diversity 

Then, type the university root URL like this:

Your results are limited to the specified server (only CSUSM, no Wikipedia or Amazon in this example.) 

Of course, if you do not know the university's root URL, type the school's name in double quotes in the search box. (for example, "California State University San Marcos") AND site:edu


Step 2

Diversity in Academe Step 2

Select a target university. It is simple enough to use CSUSM, but what about the variety of other colleges and universities found in the United States? There are public and private institutions founded on different principles and supported through different funding bodies that drive or stall any diversity initiative. You may want to look at a completely different school.

CSUSM's Home Page...

Step 3

Diversity in Academe Step 3

Different areas of university life and operations can provide information on diversity (support or the lack), here are some ideas. Use the website's search tool to answer these questions or search on the topic ideas in Step 1:

  • Campus Homepage
    • Is there a University Mission statement that addresses diversity (it may not use that word, but what is the sense of the statement)
    • Is there a Diversity Office or officer?
    • Are there tools to enable access, such as plain text or alternate language services on the site?
  • Student Life/Associated Students/Student Body
    • Student newspaper, look at the opinions and articles.
    • Student-focused activities and clubs, what kinds of clubs are there?
    • Are there offices or services specifically for diverse groups (women, veterans, LGBTQ, etc.)?
  • Business/operational functions such as Human Resources
    • Hiring practices (Equal Opportunity Employer?)
    • Is there demographic data on the campus employees?
    • Are there published guidelines on purchasing practices requiring diversity?
  • Academic Environment
    • Look at the majors/minors offered, do they represent a diversity of ideas?
    • Look at syllabi, do they include concepts of diversity and openness?

Step 4

Diversity in Academe Step 4

Once you have surveyed your target university, take what you find there and look at other sources to make sure their claims are true.

Look at newspaper articles (keep in mind there can be bias in reporting and especially in op/ed articles.) We have lots of current newspapers available through the ProQuest Newspapers database.

Check claims on the diversity of the population using quality sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics as shown here:

Then you get this:

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