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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

James Simon

First Committee Member

Linda Williams

Second Committee Member

Kenneth D. Day


The American demographic landscape is no longer a homogeneous melting pot where all colors and flavors blend into indistinct variants. The challenges brought about by such a societal shift have made diversity issues increasingly important. Chief among them is the issue of organizational diversity. Although there has been an increase in organizational diversity research, there is a noted lack of organizational diversity research in the area of college-level forensics programs. This study seeks to fill this void. Specifically, the purpose of the study was to describe diversity levels in college and university forensics programs, and to compare current levels with those of five years past. Survey questionnaires were completed by almost 200 college and university coaches in AFA, CEDA, and Phi Rho Pi. The results of the survey show no significant increase in diversity levels has occurred since Swanson's indictment of elitism in 1989. Forensics continues to have an overwhelming white majority of coaches and competitors; two-thirds of all programs indicate no effort has been made to increase diversity. These results suggest forensics may be in a state of stasis, one inconsistent with its evolving environment.



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