Powerful social groups have long relied on the prominent status associated with institutions to reinforce social norms and traditions. Institutions specifically within the economy, government, and academic fields are viewed by the public with high levels of trustworthiness due to the endless number of social welfare related mission statements. Unfortunately, instead elite decision makers within these respective fields have actively and passively created knowledge that perpetuates unjust power relations that further social inequalities. The prestige of private higher-education institutions has specifically been used by powerful leaders as a mechanism in service to the generation of heteronormative – male, and euro-centric narratives. An example provided by the readings has been the case study of the highly regarded Harvard University, which has educated world renowned business, military, and political leaders (e.g. M.Bloomberg, M. Zuckerberg, etc.).
Top tier one research institutions such as Harvard University have been able to amass large endowments from their world-famous alumni and benefactors. The incorporation of donor endowment money into higher-ed business models has led to the special consideration of “legacy” applicants into admission criteria’s across America. This has not only ensured that wealthy white males have been accepted into top tier universities for a hundred years but has also created a homogeneous faculty and administration within the higher-education landscape. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics “76 percent of all college and university faculty members were white” in 2019. My very own research text Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches just so happens to be written by the male father son duo J. David Creswell and John W. Creswell. This is just an anecdotal example of how high-ed keep it in the family.
It will take years of aggressive diversity, equity, and inclusion policies in order to deal with the long-term effects of historically guaranteeing elite groups access to the highest levels of education. Educational fund-raising policies pertaining to private donors, gifting, and endowments need to be analyzed to determine additional governmental safe-guards. It’s also necessary to directly address the financial gaps that fund raising monies are being used for to ensure that gaps in resources between public and private institutions aren’t further widened.