Absent any easy way to measure the messy, nuanced work of education, colleges and universities tend to rely upon the numbers. How many applications were received? What are the median SAT scores? What percentage of students graduate on time and what is their annual income?

So it is with creating diverse communities on our campuses. How many students of color are enrolled? How many international students, and from how many countries? What is their rate of graduation?

These numbers, while important, should be considered but the opening chapter in a long and complex narrative. Enrolling a diverse student body, hiring a diverse group of faculty and staff members—these are necessary steps toward the goal of building diverse communities, but too often they are seen as ends in themselves.