The University's Role in Promoting Human Rights Through Nurturing Human Diversities

Thomas M. Diehm, University of Washington Tacoma
Marceline M. Lazzari


This qualitative study explored those components that contribute to an atmosphere which promotes and nurtures human diversities at a new expansion campus of a public university. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a snowball sample of faculty, staff, and administrators who were identified by other participants as having had a positive impact on the creation and maintenance of such an atmosphere. Using grounded theory, a preliminary data analysis indicated a mixed picture of the institution's success at this endeavor. Although many individual and collaborative efforts are already in place, they are not coordinated in any campus-wide manner. Intentional and shared responsibility across the university community was identified as the core component of turning diversity rhetoric into action. Administrative sanction, visibility, and support (modeling) were identified as critical to facilitating the kind of ongoing communication and systematic planning necessary for this intentional effort to succeed.