A content analysis of how three offices of diversity utilized social media: a study of Auburn University, the University of Alabama, and the University of Florida

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University of Alabama Libraries

Chief Diversity Officers within higher education is a new phenomenon. While some institutions hired Chief Diversity Officers and established an Office of Diversity, others resisted this trend. This study explored the last three institutions within the Southeastern Conference to hire a Chief Diversity Officer. The last institutions were Auburn University (2016), The University of Alabama (2017), and The University of Florida (2018). This research explored how Chief Diversity Officers at these institutions used social media to communicate with stakeholders. Auburn University used three social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) while The University of Alabama did not use any platforms, and The University of Florida’s Chief Diversity Officer used his personal Twitter account. The researcher analyzed each post of the Chief Diversity Officer and placed them in one of three categories: Inspiration, Participation, and Information. Auburn University’s Office of Inclusion and Diversity was especially resourceful in its use of social media, the other two institutions less so. Auburn University’s OID used Facebook and Twitter for Inspiration while they used Instagram to increase Participation. The University of Alabama’s ODEI used Instagram in a limited manner as a means to increase Participation and to provide information to the stakeholders while The University of Florida used the CDO’s Twitter account to share Information. The researcher offered recommendations and provided an original contribution to the literature. This study was unique because there has not been any research to analyze how Chief Diversity Officers and Offices of Diversity used social media to communicate.

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Higher education administration