Faculty From Underrepresented Groups Bear the Brunt of the Work on Diversity Initiatives

A new study led by scholars at Colorado State University notes that while increasing diversity in STEM fields has become a priority at many colleges and universities, the primary responsibility for mounting these efforts to increase diversity falls on faculty members from underrepresented groups.

The researchers found that non-White faculty recruited minority faculty, engaged in outreach to diverse K-12 schools, and served on diversity committees more frequently than non-Hispanic White faculty. The authors report that “our survey findings indicate that traditionally marginalized groups are bearing the primary responsibility for creating a more diverse and inclusive culture within ecology and evolutionary biology programs in the United States.”

The research team also found that engagement in diversity was not perceived as being important for obtaining tenure and that faculty identified time and funding as major limitations to take part in diversity and inclusion activities.

The full study, “Underrepresented Faculty Play a Disproportionate Role in Advancing Diversity and Inclusion,” was published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. It may be accessed here.

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