n Journal of Public Administration - Equity in the academic workplace : policy considerations and interventions for reform

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This paper examines a variety of issues and sub-issues within the realm of equity in the academic workplace or institutions of higher learning. It starts with a clarification of the environments terminology. Debates continue to revolve around the need for preserving excellence, freedom of speech and academic freedom and whether or not equity-based programmes will threaten traditions such as these. There is a fear of displacement on the part of those who have benefited in the past as well as expectation regarding a variety of opportunities, on the part of previously disadvantaged peoples. Also, discussed in this paper are equity issues as they directly impact on academic, administrative and support staff at universities. Labelling, stereotypes, racism, sexism and other issues pertaining to organisational culture are addressed and critically explored. On many an occasion, the focus of equity-based programmes has been on race, with little or no significance attached to the status of women who are either trying to enter, as well as those who are already working or studying within the academic environment. Finally, this paper outlines some considerations with respect to implementing equity programmes on campuses and will conclude with a selection of examples of post-secondary educational institutions with fully operational equity-based programmes.

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