Racial Conflict in a Higher Education Policy Vacuum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explored how 14 higher education and student affairs (HESA) professionals navigated institutional policy vacuums to address interpersonal racial conflict between students. Grounded in perspectives of policy vacuums, findings revealed that HESA professionals learned about racial conflict by referring to their own personal, professional, and academic training. Additionally, they employed strategies that were often self-generated and informal to address racial conflict. The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings, specifically highlighting that relying on HESA professionals’ dispositions is an insufficient way to address racial conflict and that more institutional support is necessary to train racially responsive HESA professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalEducation Policy Analysis Archives
StatePublished - 2024


  • higher education
  • policy vacuums
  • racial conflict


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