Behind the Diversity Numbers

Behind the Diversity Numbers Achieving Racial Equity on Campus

W. Carson Byrd, Foreword by Walter R. Allen
paper, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: June 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-632-2
Price: $33.00

Add to Cart

cloth, 248 Pages
Pub. Date: June 2021
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-633-9
Price: $60.00

Add to Cart

Request an Examination Copy

Behind the Diversity Numbers uncovers how frequently used approaches to examine and understand race-related issues on college campuses can reinforce racism and inequality, rather than combat them. The book argues that educational leaders must look beyond quantitative metrics in order to develop institutional policies and practices that promote racial equality.


Byrd’s book offers an important and clear-eyed critique of quantitative data and analyses, revealing how the field’s reliance on ‘the numbers’ exacerbates educational disparities we strive to eliminate. This is a must-read for education researchers, leaders, and policy makers, and a reminder that we must integrate multiple research methods, center narratives, and interrogate our and others’ biases to fight inequity in higher education. — Kimberly A. Griffin, professor and associate dean of Graduate Studies and Faculty Affairs, College of Education, University of Maryland

Byrd offers a deeply nuanced text that critically unpacks how quantitative analyses do not capture the depths of systemic racism, especially in affirmative action cases. In this important book, he challenges quantitative scholars to more thoroughly and meaningfully engage structured inequities in our work, moving from diversity to racism in our analyses. — Nolan L. Cabrera, associate professor, University of Arizona

Byrd rightly calls for a rethinking of how higher education institutions address racism by looking beyond the numbers. In doing this, he reengages foundational research concerning racism in higher education that has been obfuscated by cheap ‘diversity talk’ to offer both new directions for research in higher education and bold recommendations for meaningful organizational and policy change. — Mitchell J. Chang, professor, University of California, Los Angeles

This book reveals how frequently used approaches to examine and understand race-related issues on college campuses can reinforce racism and inequality, rather than combat them. Behind the Diversity Numbers provides a range of suggestions for institutional change, including how to incorporate racial justice and equity as central components of higher education, especially when analyzing and monitoring data that can inform decision-making and policy-making. — Council of Independent Colleges Newsletter

More Less

About the Author

W. Carson Byrd, Faculty Director of Diversity and Equity Research Initiatives for the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan and associate professor of sociology at the University of Louisville, examines higher education inequality with a particular focus on race and racism. He is the author of Poison in the Ivy: Race Relations and the Reproduction of Inequality on Elite College Campuses (Rutgers University Press, 2017), which explores college students’ beliefs about race and racial inequality and how their social interactions during college can shape these beliefs. He is also the coeditor of Intersectionality and Higher Education: Identity and Inequality on College Campuses (Rutgers University Press, 2019), a compilation of scholarship on how students, faculty, and staff navigate unequal campuses and understand the inequality around them as they live, work, and study. His work has also appeared beyond academic journals in forums such as the Washington Post, InsideHigherEd, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.

Table of Contents


Other books in Higher Education Policy

Other books in Higher Education Policy

Sister Resisters

Janie Victoria Ward and Tracy L. Robinson-Wood

Other books in Higher Education Policy

The College President Handbook

Edited by James Soto Antony, Ana Mari Cauce, Lynn M. Gangone, and Tara P. Nicola, Foreword by Mark D. Gearan

Books From This Author