A Systemically Collaborative Approach to Achieving Equity in Higher Education

  • Richard Prystowsky Marion Technical College


Colleges and universities have long recognized the need to address inequities affecting students from underrepresented or underserved groups. Despite efforts undertaken by dedicated individuals, large-scale, national change in this area has not been realized. In this article, we address two major factors underlying this disappointing result—the structures of isolation common in our institutions of higher learning, and the inadequate addressing of our own implicit biases—and offer a model of systemic collaboration aimed at ameliorating these problems so that colleges and universities throughout the nation can achieve the equity goals that have proved so elusive for so many of them.

Author Biography

Richard Prystowsky, Marion Technical College

For more than fifteen years, Richard J. Prystowsky has held administrative leadership positions at various community colleges, most recently at Lansing Community College, where he was Provost. He is currently the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services at Marion Technical College, in Ohio. Previously, at Irvine Valley College, he held a dual appointment as a professor of English and Humanities, teaching courses in writing, literature, and humanities, and specializing in Holocaust Studies. The author of a college-level writing text (Careful Reading, Thoughtful Writing), he has also published articles, given talks, or led sessions on a variety of topics, including education, diversity and inclusion, writing, literature and psychoanalysis, non-violence, Holocaust Studies, and peace studies. For the entirety of his career, he has been a strong advocate for higher education’s enacting substantial policies and practices that advance the work of equity, diversity, and inclusion. He sees this work as integral to higher education’s commitment to helping create a well-educated, civically engaged, humanitarian-oriented citizenry.