STUDY: Faculty diversity at near stand-still despite MILLIONS spent by universities

A new study found that universities have not made much progress on faculty diversity initiatives, despite more attention and money being given to race and inclusivity issues.

The study, published by South Texas College of Law’s Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy, concluded that colleges have not seen substantial growth in the diversity of faculty between 2013 and 2017, according to Inside Higher Ed.

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“We wanted to test this hypothesis -- whether we in higher ed were improving diversity in those particular areas,” Julian Vasquez Heilig, one of the study’s authors and the incoming education dean at the University of Kentucky, said,  Inside Higher Ed reported. “A lot of times faculty, when we have these discussions, talk like we’re reinventing the wheel. We have these ideas and these gut feelings of what might work. But I think we need to be more empirical and data-driven on diversity.”

Overall, research-intensive schools offering doctorates showed the least progress. From 2013 to 2017 at such institutions, tenured faculty who were Hispanic and Latino only grew 0.65 percent, while African American tenured faculty increased by only 0.1 percent during the study’s time frame. Asian Americans saw only a 1.94 percent increase.

Graduate schools saw similar results, with tenured Hispanic and Latino faculty rising 0.64 percent and African American tenured faculty increasing just 0.07 percent. 

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During the four-year period, tenured male faculty decreased at doctoral and graduate schools by 1.99 and 1.76 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, tenured female faculty at these institutions respectively increased by 1.99 and 1.76 percent.

“Despite concerted efforts, we really haven’t moved the needle that much in terms of ethno-racial and gender diversity,” Vasquez Heilig said, according to Inside Higher Ed. “Especially when you consider the growing population of communities of color in the United States, you haven’t resultantly seen the growth in faculty especially at the doctoral levels. Many institutions that are making the most noise -- the brand-name institutions -- have had some of the worst progress.”

As Campus Reform previously reported, universities have spent large sums of money on diversity initiatives. 

The University of California, Berkeley spends $2.3 million each year on diversity employee salaries, while the University of California, Los Angeles spends $3.2 million.

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE REPORT: UCLA doles out $3.2 MILLION annually on diversity salaries]

American Universityannounced this February that $61 million will be used for diversity efforts in 2019. In addition, the University of Michigan will pay its diversity officers $10.6 million in 2019 alone. Rutgers University faculty protested in 2019 to increase the school’s diversity budget, which was already $20 million, and Columbia University has spent $185 million since 2005 for its diversity initiatives. 

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