A Large Racial Gap Persists in Faculty Posts in American Higher Education

In 2009, the latest year complete data is available, there were 728,977 full-time instructional faculty at degree-granting institutions in the United States. Of these, 39,715, or 5.4 percent, were Black. This data includes faculty at the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities. Therefore, the Black percentage of the faculty at predominantly White institutions is undoubtedly significantly lower.

The racial gap in faculty posts is most pronounced at the full professor level. In 2009, there were 177,581 full professors at degree-granting institutions. There were 6,086 Blacks in full professor posts. Thus, Blacks made up only 3.4 percent of all full professors.

There were 148,989 associate professors in 2009. The 8,163 Black associate professors made up 5.4 percent of all faculty at this rank.

Blacks were 6.4 percent of the assistant professors and 7.5 percent of the instructors.

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  1. I am a full prof at the University of Tampa, which was founded in 1931 and since c. 1990 tripled in size, from small college to medium size university, with over 6 thousand full-time students in 2011-12.

    UT has never had one single tenured black faculty member.

  2. The numbers are disappointing and are even more so if we look at full time faculty by disciplines. That is the number of blacks faculty in business and engineering disciplines. I teach finance and economics and find just a few blacks at the conferences that I attend.

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