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Dr. Monica Hatfield PRice
April 19, 2017 : OUC’s Price publishes first book on inequality in higher education


OUC’s Price publishes first book on inequality in higher education


Dr. Monica Hatfield Price, Ohio University Chillicothe Adjunct Professor of Communications, wants to help change the conversation about inequality in higher education today. Along with Dr. Laura Harrison of OHIO’s Patton College of Education, the two have set out to bring awareness to the topic of inequality through their book, “Interrupting Class Inequality in Higher Education: Leadership for an Equitable Future,” which was recently published by Routledge.


 The book explores why socioeconomic inequality persists in higher education despite widespread knowledge of the problem. Through critical analysis of leadership practices and policy narratives that perpetuate the problem, the authors outline current problems and effective tools for creating a more equitable future for higher education.


For Price, her first published book, which took a little over a year to complete and was published in February, could be described as a synergistic approach to a topic of shared passion between the two authors.


“We wanted to change the conversation because for decades, people know that education is inequitable and the ‘haves’ tend to get more, and more, and more while the ‘have nots’ tend to get less and less and less,” said Price. “So, what we’re trying to do with this book is change that conversation and say, ‘why is that okay?’ We’ve known for years, and there’s a lot of data out there that says this is inequitable. We want to kind of change that conversation and say that it’s not foretold in the stars that this is how it has to be. These are people making decisions that are perpetuating an inequitable system.”


The intended audience for her work is focused toward those in positions of leadership in higher education. From campus leaders to higher education students and scholars or even those interested in looking at the social construction that has been perpetuated in higher education to make it as inequitable as it is. But, she hasn’t forgotten about policymakers and hopes to pique the interests of those who are charged with making decisions about higher education at the state and federal levels.


“Because a lot of policy makers come to state and federal government without any background in education or understand wholly how it runs, the perpetuation of inequality continues to exist. They need to be aware of what’s happening,” she said.  “So hopefully it can be an educational tool for policy makers, as well.”


Instead of the typical book construction where numerous chapters outline a problem with only a short amount dedicated to a solution, this book takes an equal approach to underscoring the problems and providing insight into tools that create better outcomes. In order to forge the solutions for change, Price and Harrison suggest four broad topics to change the narrative: leading collaboratively, telling a better story, gaining the public trust, and charting a more equitable course.


As stated best in the opening description, Price and Harrison hope to help those in decision making roles move from despair and inertia to hope and action.


The book is available for purchase from major retailers like Amazon and Target.