U. faculty dominated by whites, males, committee finds
These data, based on 2010 statistics, were compiled by the Trustee Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity. Formed in January, the committee was charged with identifying ways to enhance the diversity of the graduate student body, faculty and senior administration.
While 38.2 percent of the Class of 2015 are American students of color and approximately half are female, the faculty — defined as tenured or tenure-track professors — remains overwhelmingly male and overwhelmingly white. The faculty is 3 percent African American, 3 percent Latino, 9 percent Asian and 4 percent international.
Psychology department chair and co-chair of the committee Deborah Prentice said there is still work to be done in terms of increasing the diversity of the faculty.
“Our principled and well-intentioned efforts have not yielded the desired results,” Prentice said.
The committee has identified three possible ways to make the faculty more diverse, including establishing a stronger partnership between the administration and departments in the hiring process, evaluating the point at which minority candidates drop out of the hiring process and growing a more diverse applicant pool.
“When you advertise a job, you don’t just want to take who comes to it,” Prentice explained. “You want to encourage people to apply ... who don’t think they necessarily belong.”
The diversity of the graduate student body has significantly improved in recent years, according to vice provost Michele Minter, the secretary of the committee.
Minter emphasized the importance of continuing to increase the diversity of the applicant pool. Specifically, she said she hopes the University can forge stronger relationships with historically black colleges as well as schools with large Hispanic populations to encourage minority undergraduates to apply to graduate programs at the University.
Minter added that diversity varies significantly by division, with the engineering school lagging behind. Prentice also acknowledged that there is still progress to be made, especially in the STEM departments.
Minter noted that since 1980, the graduate body, faculty and senior administration “have become significantly larger and significantly more diverse in terms of gender and ethnicity.” She added that faculty diversity is a longer-term challenge due to turnover rates. While the student body turns over every four years, the faculty takes a much longer time.
The committee’s next steps include creating a statement on why diversity is important to the University and publishing a report making specific recommendations, according to Prentice. The committee will administer a survey to senior administrators on Oct. 15. The survey’s subject is diversity in the workplace at the University. The faculty as a whole was last surveyed on diversity in 2007.
Prentice provided an update on the committee’s progress at the CPUC meeting last week. U-Councilor Zhan Okuda-Lim ’15, who attended the meeting, said he felt the Committee’s final report — due this spring — has the potential to bring positive change to the University.
“[Having faculty members] with different backgrounds, experiences and histories brings so much to the table,” Okuda-Lim said.