Low Number of Minority Professors across the Nation Raises Concerns

By Victor Ochieng

An examination of the backgrounds of the over 400,000 professors in 1,500 colleges shows a serious lack of diversity that need to be addressed. The results reveal that out of every 100 faculty members, 75 of them are White, five are Black and even fewer are Hispanic.

But that isn’t the whole issue about diversity as some other institutions, say private master’s universities have alarming levels of underrepresented minority professors.

The examination revealed that there are a total of 412,115 professors in all the Carnegie classifications combined. Of these, 155,992 are from universities with very high activity research. Out of these, Whites account for 73%, while Asians account for 13%. All other races make up the remaining 14%, with Blacks representing a meager 3%.

Another breakdown of universities with high activity research also showed Whites accounting for 73% of professors. Here, both Black and Hispanics accounted for 4% each, while Asians came in second with 10%.

The number of White professors in research universities with average activities is slightly lower than that of other universities with higher activity research. They represented 70% of professors, while Black professors have a slightly higher percentage than they enjoy in universities with higher activity research. Here, Black and Asian professors tie at 9%.

A total of 89,106 professors are found in large master’s universities, out of which Whites account for 77%, Asians take 9%, Blacks 5%, while Hispanics make up only 4%.

Whites are also predominantly represented in Diverse-field baccalaureate colleges, whose number stood at 19,898 professors, with Whites making up 81%. Minorities still have small numbers here; Blacks represent 8%, Asians 5%, and Hispanics 2%.

The data used in the examination of the demographics are from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (Ipeds) and are drawn from 2013-14 compilation.

While these figures look at the representation of different segments, considering the representation of different races and ethnicities in individual institutions, there is clearly a startling lack of diversity.

These figures are worrying, but are apparently the same as what’s seen in several other sectors, where Whites dominate. When it comes to unemployment, the rate among Blacks is twice that of Whites. These figures are not due to a single factor, but several factors that result in the rate of employment amongst Blacks worryingly lower than that of Whites.