Introduction: Striving for social justice and equity in higher education


  • Irina Okhremtchouk San Francisco State University
  • Caroline Turner California State University, Sacramento
  • Patrick Newell California State University, Chico



Higher Education, Education Policy, Social Justice


Through the introduction of our special issue, Striving for Social Justice and Equity in Higher Education, we aim to add to a continued and much-needed discussion on deeply seated institutional inequities that remain to shape the ways by which education occurs across the higher education landscape. As we present manuscripts included in this issue, our goal is to capture the vast and many layers within higher education encompassing research and discussions on policy and systems that impact administration, leadership, faculty, and student experiences. In our concluding remarks, we stress that even though deeply seated institutional inequities remain, the work of this type must continue as it is part of a broader fight waged for social and racial justice. It is our hope that institutional leaders and policymakers will use the wealth of knowledge shared in this special issue to cultivate nurturing learning environments that include and value the talent and perspectives of those who have been systematically undervalued and marginalized.


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Author Biographies

Irina Okhremtchouk, San Francisco State University

Irina S. Okhremtchouk is an associate professor of educational administration in the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies, and Instructional Technologies at San Francisco State University’s Graduate College of Education. She also coordinates SFSU’s educational administration certification and educational administration MA programs. In her capacity as educational administration program coordinator, Okhremtchouk is charged with preparing well-rounded and well-informed social justice leaders and school administrators who are ready to build and maintain inclusive school communities, as well as work persistently to eliminate racism, inequalities, and injustices. Okhremtchouk’s expertise is in the area of school organization, policy, and school finance. Specifically, her scholarly work stems from a deep interest in how to translate research into better-informed public policy yielding a long-lasting impact on educational leadership, policy, and administration. Irina received her Ph.D. in School Organization and Educational Policy from the U.C. Davis School of Education.

Caroline Turner, California State University, Sacramento

An internationally recognized and award-winning scholar, Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner is professor emerita of educational leadership at California State University, Sacramento, and Lincoln Professor Emerita of Higher Education and Ethics at Arizona State University. She served as president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) and as interim dean for the College of Education at California State University, Sacramento. She is the author of Women of Color in Academe: Living with Multiple Marginality and coauthor with Samuel L. Myers Jr. of Faculty of Color in Academe: Bittersweet Success. Her numerous recognitions include the University of California, Davis (UCD) School of Education Distinguished Alumna Award and the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Scholars of Color in Education Career Contribution Award. She received her Ph.D. in Administration and Policy Analysis from the Stanford University School of Education.

Patrick Newell, California State University, Chico

Patrick Newell serves as Dean of Meriam Library at California State University, Chico. His research efforts focus on policy implications for access to educational and informational resources and how education policy translates into institutional change.  He received his Ph.D. in School Organization and Educational Policy from the U.C. Davis School of Education and his MLIS from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.




How to Cite

Okhremtchouk, I., Turner, C., & Newell, P. (2021). Introduction: Striving for social justice and equity in higher education. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(January - July), 37.



Striving for Social Justice and Equity in Higher Education