2021 (2021-2023)

Social Justice in Higher Education 

Higher education plays an ever-increasing, socio-economic role within knowledge-based societies in a globalized world (Singh, 2011). As students gain knowledge, they also increase opportunity for economic advancement, which can provide the key to rising out of poverty. The pursuit of knowledge and economic advancement, however, is not equally accessible by all in society. Higher education helps interrupt oppression through the pursuit of social justice by providing a path to knowledge acquisition for those willing and able to pursue post-secondary education. Marginalized students make up a small percentage of those privileged enough to attend an institution of higher education, and even fewer persist to graduation (Shapiro et al., 2017). Thus, it is vital that higher education institutions are vigilant in the pursuit of social justice in order to provide support for underrepresented and marginalized student groups and address related concerns like the access to, and cost of, education and student health. Higher education can work with communities to create structures for addressing such issues, thereby lifting the “..unfair burden of social justice work from the shoulders of solely marginalized groups...” (Nair and Thomas, 2018). 

Since its inception in 1820, Indiana University pursued knowledge, truth, and justice, evidenced in the school motto “Lux et Veritas” (English translation: Light and Truth). The FACET Leadership Institute will continue in this tradition over the next two years by developing a project from the sub-topics listed below.

FACET Sub-Themes

Sub-themes allow each campus to choose the topic that is most salient to their needs. Your Leadership Institute (LI) team will choose from the sub-themes below:

  • Equity & Equality in Higher Education

  • Teaching & Learning during Crisis

  • Authentic, Empathetic, and Innovative Assessment

  • Food Insecurity (among students?) in Higher Education

Nair, A., & Thomas, C. (2018, January 2). A social justice approach to building community in higher education today. Insight into Diversity. https://www.insightintodiversity.com/a-social-justice-approach-to-building-community-in-higher-education-today/ 

Shapiro, D., Dundar, A., Huie, F., Wakhungu, P., Yuan, X., Nathan, A & Hwang, Y., A. (2017). A national view of student attainment rates by race and ethnicity: Fall 2010 cohort (Signature Report No. 12b). Herndon, VA: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Singh, M. (2011). The place of social justice in higher education and social change discourses. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 41(4): 481-494.

The 2021 Leadership Institute Planning Committee 

Lisa Russell, IU Southeast (lismruss@ius.edu)
Sridhar Ramachandran, IU Southeast (sriramac@ius.edu
Clark Barwick, IU Bloomington (mbarwick@indiana.edu

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