Assessing the State of Social Justice at the University of Wyoming
thesisposted on 2020-05-01, 00:00 authored by Alexandra L. Mulhall
As the world grows increasingly more diverse and access to higher education is expanded, the role of higher institutions in addressing social issues is rising to the forefront. The University of Wyoming has taken direct actions to address social justice issues like diversity and inclusion, but the 2019 Diversity Climate Survey revealed that discrimination is still present, and that some existing perceptions of the value of social justice present challenges to achieving just conditions at the institution. The unique characteristics of the state further complicate efforts to achieve justice, such as a general lack of diversity and competing stakeholder interests. This paper provides analysis of social justice theory, higher education theory, and University of Wyoming institutional data, as well as an anecdotal analysis of the institution based on my personal experience as the Associated Students of the University of Wyoming (ASUW) President, to ultimately argue that the University of Wyoming must adopt a clear, institution-wide social justice framework. This framework must ultimately be woven into the broader goals of the state of Wyoming and the University in order to win broad constituent support and have the best chance for spurring true social change. The unique perspective that I offer, combined with scholarly research, produce an analysis that could provide insight for future research and social justice efforts at the University of Wyoming.