Jeffrey Milem, Jules Zimmer Dean of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School, was a guest lecturer in Harvard University’s Bravely Confronting Racism in Higher Education online course on November 8. (Milem was an invited speaker in the course last April, too.) The course, presented by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is designed to help participants, build a more equitable environment for the community of students, faculty, and staff within their higher education institutions by developing a sustainable practice to confront racism through anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Work on anti-racism is an ongoing process that should not rest on the shoulders of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) higher education leaders. Bravely Confronting Racism in Higher Education is a program that enables participants to effectively confront issues of inequality and racism within higher education from various perspectives. By the end of the program, participants will have a community of support, a greater sense of empathy, and sustainable practice components for themselves, their units, and to bring back to their community.
Dr. Milem is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and has been awarded the American College Personnel Association’s Contributions to Higher Education award. Professor Milem’s research focuses on the ways in which colleges and universities can be organized to enhance equity, access, and success for all students; the racial context within higher education; and the relationship between how colleges and universities organize themselves and student outcomes and faculty role performance. As a widely recognized expert in the area of racial dynamics in higher education, Milem has been commissioned to do research by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Harvard Civil Rights Project, the American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the American Educational Research Association’s Panel on Racial Dynamics in Higher Education.
With his colleagues Mitchell Chang and Anthony Antonio, he co-authored Making Diversity Work on Campus: A Research Based Perspective, published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, which translates research demonstrating the educational benefits of diversity to develop a “roadmap” for college leaders of the conditions that must be in place if they are to maximize the opportunities for teaching and learning that racial diversity provides. Milem contributed to two of the three books that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor cited in her majority opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger as being influential in helping to document the university’s claim regarding the educational benefits of diversity. He also worked closely on amicus briefs for both iterations of the Fisher v. Texas case.