The University of Houston has one of the more diverse student bodies of any college or university in the nation. According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education, Whites are 30 percent of the undergraduate student body. Blacks make up 12 percent of all undergraduates, Asians 21 percent, and Latinos 28 percent.
But according to the university’s department of institutional research, the racial and ethnic makeup of its faculty does not approach that of its student body. The data shows that of the 967 ranked faculty at the university, 652, or slightly more than two thirds are White. The university has 33 Black faculty members, 3.4 percent of the total.
In 2002, there were 25 Black faculty members, so there has been a slight improvement.
James L. Conyers Jr., director of the African American studies program at the University of Houston, told the student newspaper, “We will need to be assertive and aggressive in our pursuit to recruit and retain.” He went on to say that to maintain that the university must commit to “an ongoing process of recruiting, much like the method employed in fundraising and development, meaning all year and constantly networking nationally with scholars in the various academic fields of research.”
Dr. Conyers is a graduate of Ramapo College in New Jersey. He earned a master’s degree at the University at Albany of the State University of New York system and a Ph.D. in African American studies at Temple University in Philadelphia.