A new report from The Education Trust finds that faculty diversity plays a key role in college student completion rates. It can also have a major impact on students’ sense of belonging, retention rates, and persistence. All students benefit from faculty diversity. Engaging with diverse faculty and different perspectives builds empathy, respect for others, and creativity, and improves problem-solving skills. Black students, who are pursuing college degrees in greater numbers, are more likely to graduate when they have diverse faculty members who look like them and can serve as positive mentors and role models.
Researchers compared the Black percentage of the student body to the Black percentage of faculty at a large number of state-operated universities. They found that only 13.4 percent of these educational institutions had a Black-faculty-to-Black-student ratio of 90 percent or more. More than 70 percent of these institutions had a Black-faculty-to-Black-student ratio of below 70 percent.
The report also provides data on new hires and whether Black faculty are more or less likely to be hired to tenure-track positions or adjunct positions. The report compares the percentage of all faculty who have tenure to the percentage of Black faculty who have tenure. Finally, the report looks at progress in hiring of Black faculty between 2005 and 2020.
The full report, So Why Are University Faculties So White? Faculty Diversity and Student Success Go Hand in Hand, may be downloaded here.