University faculty attitudes on affirmative action principles toward faculty and students

Academic Article


  • Despite its relatively short history, policies connected with Affirmative Action have endured a controversial social, political, and legal past. Higher education has witnessed much of this controversy firsthand. Because the venue of many Affirmative Action battles has been waged within educational settings, faculty in higher education are uniquely positioned because they are integrally involved in decisions regarding faculty hiring as well as student admissions, particularly at the graduate level. Therefore, this study examined the attitudes of faculty toward Affirmative Action principles and reverse discrimination as they might apply to students and faculty colleagues, with particular attention to which concepts were more supported. Results from 428 faculty indicated general support for diversity, although specific concerns were raised regarding reverse discrimination and the appropriateness of targeting persons of color or women. The most favorable attitudes supported students with demonstrated financial need. Potential future approaches to Affirmative Action in higher education are discussed. © University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Education.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Flores A; Rodriguez CM
  • Start Page

  • 303
  • End Page

  • 312
  • Volume

  • 39
  • Issue

  • 4