Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Higher Education

First Advisor

Lyndsay Agans, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Frank Tuitt

Third Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher

Fourth Advisor

Diane Hegeman


Diversity, Diversity statements, Inclusivity, Mission statements


The purpose of my study was to identify whether university Diversity Statements aid in maintaining or disrupting inequality in the university. Using critical discourse analysis, I analyzed an initial sample of eleven Diversity Statements to develop a list of common themes found within the diversity statements. Using a maximum variation method, I then reduced my sample to four universities to provide breadth of information for the final study (Miles & Huberman, 1994). In my case analysis, I first conducted an individual analysis of each of the four Diversity Statements using the common themes from my critical case analysis, common functions of the Diversity Statement, and potential limitations from my review of the literature (Doolittle, Horner, Bradley, Sugai, & Vincent, 2007; King & Cleland, 1978; Meacham & Gaff, 2006; Sevier, 2003). Next, for each of the universities I then compared the Mission Statement to the Diversity Statement, analyzed common university statistics, and evaluated website pictures. Last, I conducted a cross-case analysis to identify patterns and considered the implications of those patterns in my findings.

My analysis evidenced similarities across cases and provided insight to be applied in developing a framework for writing a Diversity Statement. Conclusions from my study suggest the Diversity Statement has the potential to be a powerful tool in disrupting inequality in the university. However, limiting factors decrease this ability. The recommendations suggest careful attention in preparing to write a Diversity Statement, appropriate content, and full dissemination of the Diversity Statement can increase the ability of the Diversity Statement to disrupt inequality in the university.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Linda A. Merkl

File size

258 p.

File format





Higher education