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U professor to lead Journal of Diversity in Higher Ed

Chris Linder, director of the McCluskey Center for Violence Prevention, will serve as the journal's editor-in-chief.

Chris Linder, founder and director of the McCluskey Center for Violence Prevention and associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy, is the new editor-in-chief of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education (JDHE), published quarterly in collaboration with the American Psychological Association.

“Dr. Linder is an outstanding choice to lead the Journal," said Paulette Granberry Russell, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) in a press release. "She is a valued  member of the NADOHE community and will continue to uphold the reputation of the Journal as the scholarly home for empirical research investigating, influencing, and innovating [diversity, equity and inclusion] work in higher education institutions.”

We spoke with Linder about the importance of the journal and her role as editor-in-chief.

Congratulations on your appointment! What kind of research is JDHE known for?

JDHE publishes research that focuses on improving practice related to diversity and equity in higher education. The Journal is a publication of the NADOHE, so the implications and recommendations from the scholarship are particularly important. The leadership team of the journal strives to ensure that the research in JDHE is directly applicable to the practice of addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.

What is the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in higher education in the U.S.?

Certainly, campus leaders are paying attention to DEI in ways I’m not sure we’ve seen before, at least not in the last five decades. While campus leaders and others are paying attention to equity on campuses, we’re still struggling with sharp divisions in perspectives about the importance of DEI and wrestling with being on the same page about what equity looks like. Because we’ve all been socialized in the same hierarchical, oppressive systems, we do not actually know what it would look like to share resources to transform our systems to serve the needs of all people, rather than just a few at a time.

JDHE is known for producing high-quality critical work. but what improvements will you make as editor-in-chief, or what strengths will you build on?

My vision for my time as editor-in-chief is to continue the strong legacy of developmental reviews for authors and to focus on the applicability of our scholarship to practice. I anticipate launching two initiatives in the first year:

  1. Providing professional development for current editorial board members and new reviewers
  2. Working with authors to showcase their work in more practical forums than the academic journal

During my time as associate editor, I have learned that one of the greatest challenges of editing a journal is finding enough reviewers to provide high-quality, developmental reviews for authors. My experience is that even when people want to provide a review, we haven’t done the best job preparing them for how to do that. We will provide webinars helping reviewers understand what makes a strong review and work one-on-one with new reviewers to help them work through their first couple of reviews.

Additionally, as the scope of the journal is to focus on theory-to-practice and not everyone has the time or interest in reading a full academic journal article, I will work with authors to showcase their work in more succinct ways. Specifically, I anticipate we could start a blog where researchers discuss the high points and implications of their work without the details of the methodological process. People who want to understand the methodology could read the full journal article. Further, we could feature panels of authors and people who may use their work in practice on a YouTube channel. I anticipate hiring a graduate assistant to help with these initiatives.

Who should be reading JDHE and who should be submitting their work to JDHE?

Anyone who wants to! As I said before, the editorial team at JDHE works closely with the Board of Directors for NADOHE to ensure that the scholarship published in the journal is relevant, timely and applicable to practice in higher education. In addition to the typical research articles published in most journals, JDHE also features a research-in-practice section that highlights shorter articles written by practitioners about using scholarship in practice. These articles could be about a program or initiative that works to address DEI in higher education, usually based on implementing strategies from previous scholarship.

Any final thoughts on this new role?

I am excited to jump in and serve the profession in this way. If anyone wants to serve as a reviewer for the journal, let me know! We are always looking for people who want to invest time in helping us publish high-quality scholarship from the field.

If you’d like to be a reviewer for the journal, please contact Chris Linder here.