A new study from Harris Search Associates, based in Dublin, Ohio, finds that despite many years of diversity efforts at the nation’s colleges and universities, academic engineering remains largely the domain of White men.
The study found that 82 percent of the deans at the nation’s 300 or more accredited engineering schools are men and 74 percent are White.
For faculty, only 2.3 percent of all faculty at accredited schools of engineering are Black. Furthermore, the study finds that this percentage is virtually the same as was the case a decade ago.
The study’s author, Richard A. Skinner, former president of Royal Roads University in British Columbia and Clayton State University in Georgia, who now serves as senior consultant with Harris Search Associates, says “professional advancement for women in general and African American women in particular has been slow in academic engineering, notwithstanding the good-faith efforts of individuals and organizations to improve that condition.”
Dr. Skinner suggests that those seeking to attract more women and minorities to academic engineering will need to target children in even earlier stages of the K-12 continuum.