Ohio University Aims to Boost Retention of Black and Minority Faculty Members

ohioLogo-stacked_fc-copy_1Ohio University in Athens has launched the Multicultural Junior Faculty Mentoring Program that will assign new junior faculty members from underrepresented groups a senior faculty member who will serve as a mentor.

Shari_ClarkeThe new program is run by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, directed by Shari Clarke, the vice provost for diversity and inclusion. Clarke came to Ohio University in 2014 after serving as vice president for multicultural affairs at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Clarke has a doctorate in educational leadership and higher education from the University of  Nebraska at Lincoln.

Alicia Chavira-Prado, the special assistant to Dr. Clarke, stated that “our Multicultural Junior Faculty Mentoring Program is a way to provide one-on-one support for the particular challenges that new faculty members face. We want to connect our new faculty members with faculty and staff members who can be resources to them and optimize their faculty experience.”

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  1. Dr. Clarke is a wonderful person. She made a difference in her stay at Marshall University. She was very creative and innovative. Things she has done for diverse groups at Marshall were exemplary. Wish her all the best!!

  2. You will always have a problem trying to retain Black and Minority faculty at Ohio University because it exists in cultural isolation. Athens, Ohio is in Appalachia.

    Having taught at OU in the late 1970’s, I only lasted for a year and a half; and sought refuge again at an urban University, and went to teach at Morgan State University.

    I came to OU after two years teaching at Temple University because I wanted to get away from an urban university. How wrong I was and now see it as the biggest error in my academic career.

    Athens did not have a Black barber shop, there were few if any other Black professionals, the dining venues were limited, except for Miller’s Chicken, and the African American religious options were also very few.

    If drinking and being a party animal is your thing, then Court Street bars have plenty of offerings for you, but if you want to enjoy your career and enjoy life, then you may be left wanting.

    The surrounding counties may have at most 25 Black families and when you really want to do something you must travel to Columbus, Ohio, which is 50 miles away.

    However, try it you may like it.

    • oh no–that sounds absolutely dreadful! no wonder there’s a problem with retention. given a choice, who would subject themselves to that kind of misery? but — to be fair — your experience is over 30 years old. however, it seems much hasn’t changed since then. change happens much too slowly.

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