A reader recently contacted JBHE with concerns that Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, is not doing enough to address diversity in its faculty and administrative ranks. The reader points out that several high ranking faculty and administrators have left Emory in recent years.
The letter that was sent to JBHE can be seen below. Because of the writer’s affiliation, we have decided to publish the letter anonymously. We invite members of the Emory community and others concerned about diversity issues to comment.
To the Editor:
Over the past year and a half, a number of black faculty have left Emory University. You might recall that Emory received national attention this past year for the unsavory comments of its President, James Wagner, on the Three-Fifths Compromise in the U.S. Constitution. These departures of black faculty are particularly alarming as they also coincide with the departure over the past two years of Emory’s three highest-ranking black administrators: John Ford, senior vice president for campus life, Earl Lewis, provost and the Asa Griggs, Candler Professor of History and African American Studies, and Ozzie Harris II, senior vice provost for community and diversity.
In addition to these faculty and administrator departures, over the past six years Emory has experienced a significant loss of other distinguished senior black faculty due to the untimely passing of Rudolph Byrd, Goodrich White Professor of American Studies and African American Studies, and the retirements of Frances Smith Foster, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women Studies, Delores Aldridge, the Grace Towns Hamilton Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, and George Jones, the Goodrich White Professor of Biology.
Other faculty of color who have departed in the past two years include:
1) DuBois Bowman, former faculty in public health
2) David Chae, former faculty in public health
3) Tyrone Forman, former faculty in sociology
4) Regine Jackson, former faculty in the Institute of Liberal Arts
5) David Malenbranche, former faculty in the school of medicine and public health
6) Maisha Winn, former faculty in Division of Educational Studies
The departure of senior faculty and administrators of color (and there lack of replacement) illustrate that Emory University, a leading institution of higher education, has a serious diversity problem. As an alum, I’m deeply troubled by this situation.