A Report Card on Racial Diversity at Louisiana State University

meet-vice-provost-katrice-a-albert-phd23221Katrice Albert, vice provost of equity, diversity, and community outreach at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, reports that the university is making progress in increasing the number of African American students on campus but efforts to increase the number of Black faculty have not been successful.

Dr. Albert also serves as an adjunct assistant professor in the department of educational leadership, research, and counseling at LSU. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans, where she majored in psychology. Dr. Albert earned a master’s degree at the University of Southern Mississippi and a doctorate in counseling psychology at Auburn University in Alabama.

According to university data, in 1975, Blacks were 3.3 percent of the student body. By 2000 the percentage increased to 9.3 percent. After the recent recession, Black enrollments at LSU dropped to 8.8 percent in 2009. However, in 2011 the percentage of Blacks rose above 10 percent for the first time and in 2012, Blacks were 10.6 percent of all enrollments. While the progress is welcome, it must be noted that African Americans make up nearly one third of the state’s population. So a student body at the state’s flagship university that is 10.6 percent Black shows that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

JoyceJacksonOn the faculty front, there has been an average of 52 Black faculty on campus since 1997 and the numbers have been flat during the period. Blacks are just 3.4 percent of the total faculty. Joyce M. Jackson, director of the African and African American studies program and an associate professor of geography and anthropology at the university, told the student newspaper that retention of Black faculty is the major problem. “To retain African American professors, we need to see more mentoring from seasoned tenured professors.”

Dr. Jackson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Louisiana State University. She earned a Ph.D. at Indiana University.


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