Affirmative Action & Inclusiveness
Affirmative Action & Inclusiveness
AERA Conference Division J Invited Sessions

2016 - 100 Years of Inequities in Higher Education: A Critical Conversation About the Realization of Social Justice in the Academy
Chair/Organizer: Lori Patton

Presenters: James Anderson, Joy Williamson Lott, Shaun Harper, & Eddie Cole

2015 - Affirmative action and intercollegiate athletics: Historical and contemporary issues of equity in college sports
Chair/Organizer: Lori Patton

Discussants: Derek van Rheenen and Molly Ott 

Presenters: Robin L. Hughes, Shaun R. Harper, Eddie Comeaux, Joy Gaston-Gayles, Joy Blanchard

2013 - Beyond the First 90 Days: Research-Based Recommendations to the Obama Administration for Access and Equity in Higher Education
Chair/Organizer: Lori Patton
Moderator: Don Heller

Presenters: Gregory Anderson, Stella Flores, & Michele Moses

2012 - Racial Equity in Higher Education: A Blueprint for Praxis
Chair/Organizer: Lori Patton

Moderator: Shaun Harper
Presenters: Richard Delgado & Gloria Ladson-Billings


Charge to Affirmative Action Officers

[Approved by AERA Council, June 2001]

The Affirmative Action Officer of each division is required to form a committee on affirmative action that will provide leadership so that the Division addresses equity and diversity within its program, recruitment and nominating processes, and reporting and communicating functions. The Affirmative Action Officer will participate in the Affirmative Action Council and facilitate its meeting its mission and goals.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Recommending annual program offerings related to affirmative action for the Division;
  • Promoting and monitoring equity in the review process and consideration of proposals for the annual program;
  • Encouraging diversity in reviewers, presenters, chairs, and discussants;
  • Collaborating with the Division Vice President on an annual affirmative action report;
  • Devising strategies to recruit a more diverse membership;
  • Contributing names and supporting documentation for the nomination and appointment process.

The Affirmative Action Officer and/or committee will be involved in the program committee activities of the Division.


Attached is a more in-depth document highlighting recommendations for the VPs and Officers.

Committee on Diversity and Inclusion


Kristan Venegas, Co-chair
University of Southern California       
Tara Parker
University of Massachusetts, Boston
Ronn Hallett
University of the Pacific

Comm on Diversity and Inclusion-WHAT WE DO

As a group charged with fostering inclusion throughout the Division, we see our work unfolding in at least three ways over the next three years. First, we want to equip emerging scholars and those who might be new to the Division with skills for successful integration into our scholarly community. Activities to support this goal might include networking workshops, roundtable discussions, and frequent Division J blog posts about including oneself in the broader conversations about postsecondary education.

Second, we want to consider current exclusionary practices within the Division. In essence, we want to hold the Postsecondary Education community accountable. This undoubtedly includes some cultural shifts in the ways some scholarly networks and discussions are constructed. It might also call into question some of the dominant structures in place, such as redefining the role of discussants and chairs. Dr. Linda Serra Hagedorn began some of this work during her Vice-Presidential term by transforming the Division J Business Meeting into a hybrid business and social event. We are eager to identify more structural levers for change within the Division’s current structures and practices that might bring about more systemic inclusion.

Third, we hope to craft specific inclusive spaces for the development of new research areas that show significance but might not yet have secured a recognized place in the postsecondary education research cannon. Here, we want to build upon the work of Dr. Laura Perna, who, during her term as Division J V.P. initiated the working-group roundtables around special topics, including intersectionality and undocumented students. Each of these areas now occupies increased visibility on the Division J program. This initiative’s success can be seen in the self-sustaining organization of those scholars who remain committed to these issues. For example, there is a loosely organized group of researchers focused on undocumented students that connect via social media and often in-person during conferences like AERA and ASHE. Many of these same people participated in early working-group roundtables dedicated to the topic.

We see the work of the Inclusion Committee as ongoing and unfinished by design. As a team, Ryan, Kristan, Ronn, and Tara have met to discuss and develop these goals on a periodic basis over the last academic year. We anticipate that our next set of meetings will include an evaluation of our role in the upcoming AERA meeting with careful attention to the possible outcomes of the working groups.

Our hope is that working on inclusion becomes part of the culture of Division J and a significant activity constitutive of what it means to be a member of our scholarly community. To these ends, we are eager to here from our constituents – Division J members like yourself – and think along with you to continually foster inclusion across the Division. One opportunity to share your voice will be during the AERA Conference in one of our annual Roundtables on Inclusion (see the AERA-J Program for details). Throughout the year, we encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas with your elected Division J Officers or more directly by emailing Kristan and Ryan.

It is an honor for the entire Inclusion Committee to serve the Division on this significant on-going initiative. We hope to make some important strides of inclusion over the next three years of our term.

AAC Volunteers

Chayla Haynes, 2013-present
Shaun Harper, 2009-2014
Susana Muñoz, 2009-2014
Sam Museus, 2009-2014
Shametrice Davis, 2012-2013


Inclusion-Focused Roundtables at AERA

The Inclusion Committee is excited to host three roundtables at this year’s AERA conference in Philadelphia. These roundtables will be facilitated conversations that seek to generate new ideas for strategies and practices that might foster a strengthened culture of inclusion across postsecondary scholars. Each has its own theme in an attempt to address the multi-faceted dimensions to inclusion/exclusion in our scholarly community.

Thursday, April 3, 2014 from 2:15-3:45pm
Convention Center, 400 Level, Terrace IV

• Inclusion Roundtable 1: Developing Inclusive Relationships in Division J

• Inclusion Roundtable 2: Holding Higher Education Accountable for Inclusion

• Inclusion Roundtable 3: Conversing with Policy Makers

Strategically, these roundtables will be held in the same place and at the same time so as to allow a fluid conversation across conversations. Feedback for future work of the Inclusion Committee will be solicited as well. 

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