Managing Diversity in Higher Education: USAFA Case

Meric I., Er M., GÖRÜN M.

World Conference on Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, İstanbul, Turkey, 28 - 30 May 2015, pp.72-81 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume:
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.06.331
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.72-81


Today organizations are heavily affected by globalization and changes in the demographic structure of the society. Since the sex, race, and ethnic diversity of organizations are much broader than the past, nowadays the number of members in the same organization sharing different backgrounds and values has increased to a great extent. Moreover, the rapid development in technology not only entails more trained and skilled workforce but also necessitates sharpening intercultural collaboration skills in the organization. Organizations managing effectively a diverse workforce are capable of increasing organizational innovation and creativity, reaching more people and customers. Thus those organizations embracing diversity acquire competitive advantage and increase profitability. Educational institutions with a focus on diversity can graduate well trained employees capable of managing diversity and resolving diversity related workplace conflicts. Therefore as the organizations' need increases in managing diversity, higher education institutions graduating labor force with intercultural communication skills and employees well aware of cultural diversity become more and more important in improving organizational effectiveness. United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), one of the world's largest military academies, sets a model in managing diversity with its policies and practices related to coping with diversity effectively. USAFA curriculum is tailored in accordance with the great number of cadets - approximately 4000-varying in ability, interests, and character. With its prep school, USAFA supports cadet candidates from disadvantaged sections of society by providing them with a one-year program enhancing their readiness for USAFA and helping them to maximize their full potential. Furthermore USAFA helps all cadets participate in learning and teaching activities via various innovative techniques. The focal point of this study will be USAFA and the study will elaborate on innovative USAFA policies regarding the diversity management in a higher education institution. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.