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CONSIDERING THE ETHNORACIAL AND GENDER DIVERSITY OF FACULTY IN UNITED STATES COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITIES

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Abstract

Diversity, equity and inclusion should be widely promoted across disciplines, colleges, and a university’s intellectual community to positively impact educational practices and outcomes. It is important that our nation’s college and universities centrally value gender and ethnoracial diversity that fits within the framework of the law in the admissions processes and the recruitment and employment of faculty, two areas uniquely separate and distinct in their legal analyses. Notably, propositions, legislation and judicial decisions have challenged policies crafted to increase diversity in education in some states, particularly, in the context of admissions in higher education, while the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed race to be considered as a “plus” factor. Considering the legal context surrounding higher education admissions, it is important for leaders and administrators in higher education to understand whether universities and colleges have advanced greater diversity among faculty given this legal environment. Our discussion focuses on what higher education leaders are facing with respect to faculty diversity given the legal context surrounding affirmative action and admissions processes. We note differences in gender and ethnoracial diversity by institution type (Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral). We also find that in recent years, gains in faculty diversity in U.S. college and university intellectual communities were largely minimal.
CONSIDERING THE ETHNORACIAL AND GENDER DIVERSITY
OF FACULTY IN UNITED STATES COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY
INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITIES
JULIAN VASQUEZ HEILIG, ISABELL WONG FLORES, ALICIA EILEEN
BARROS SOUZA, JOSEPH CARLTON BARRY, SELENE BARCELÓ MONROY*
Diversity, equity and inclusion should be widely promoted across disciplines, colleges,
and a university’s intellectual community to positively impact educational practices and
outcomes. It is important that our nation’s college and universities centrally value gender and
ethnoracial diversity that fits within the framework of the law in the admissions processes and
the recruitment and employment of faculty, two areas uniquely separate and distinct in their
legal analyses. Notably, propositions, legislation and judicial decisions have challenged policies
crafted to increase diversity in education in some states, particularly, in the context of admissions
in higher education, while the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed race to be considered as a
“plus” factor. Considering the legal context surrounding higher education admissions, it is
important for leaders and administrators in higher education to understand whether universities
and colleges have advanced greater diversity among faculty given this legal environment. Our
discussion focuses on what higher education leaders are facing with respect to faculty diversity
given the legal context surrounding affirmative action and admissions processes. We note
differences in gender and ethnoracial diversity by institution type (Bachelor’s, Master’s and
Doctoral). We also find that in recent years, gains in faculty diversity in U.S. college and
university intellectual communities were largely minimal.
* Julian Vasquez Heilig is the Dean of the College of Education and Professor of
Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation at the University of Kentucky. He blogs at Cloaking
Inequity. Isabell Wong Flores is an attorney, doctoral student, and a motivational speaker. Since
her induction into the California State Bar, Isabell has been a community advocate, liaison, and
mentor working to diversify the legal profession. Alicia Souza is a Research Assistant and
doctoral student in the Doctorate for Educational Leadership at California State University,
Sacramento. Her research is focused on issues of gender equity in higher education, dealing
primarily with leadership and sexual violence. Joseph Carlton Barry is the owner of AIR, a
registered California lobbying firm, and Vice-Chair of the Board for Resources for Independent
Living for Sacramento and Yolo counties. Selene Barceló Monroy is a career Mexican diplomat
who has served abroad in Europe and in the United States since 1995. Her consular work in
Greece, Chicago, Fresno, Raleigh, and Sacramento, has related to protection, legal affairs, and
providing consular assistance for the Mexican diaspora.
2 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
INTRODUCTION
Diversity is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the condition of having or
being composed of differing elements: variety, especially the inclusion of
different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group
or organization.
1
While gender and ethnoracial difference are often considered
the foundational definitions of diversity, the operational meaning of diversity is
defined by many different backgrounds and contexts. Narratives of diversity
also include neurodiversity, physiological diversity, biodiversity, and
socioeconomic diversity, etc. Jurisprudence has inculcated various forms of
protected diversity (gender, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin,
religion, and genetic information) into law and policy, improving the quality of
life for hundreds of millions of people across the U.S.
Conversations about the attainment of a diverse society in the U.S. are
ongoing in the public discourse. Inequality in basic social structures in the U.S.
such as education, housing, government, incarceration, and employment
continue to be problematic. For example, in 2017, women’s median earnings
were just 80 percent of men’s median earnings, and this gender pay gap
collectively costs women approximately $500 billion annually.
2
Furthermore, in
2017, the racial wage gap between Black/African Americans and Whites grew.
3
Finally, considering intersectionality of gender and ethnoracial background,
Hispanic/Latina women earned on average, 53% of what White men earned in
1
Diversity, Merriam-Webster, Dictionary (2019), https://www.merriam-
webster.com/dictionary/diversity [https://perma.cc/R6LZ-GTGZ].
2
See Deborah J. Vagins, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, AAUW, Fall 2018, at 5,
https://www.aauw.org/aauw_check/pdf_download/show_pdf.php?file=The_Simple_Truth
[https://perma.cc/4XVE-GNBB].
3
See Mary C. Daly, Bart Hobjin & Joseph H. Pedtke, Disappointing Facts about the Black-White
Wage Gap, 2017-26 Fed. Reserve Bank of San Francisco Econ. Letter, Sep. 5, 2017.
https://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/el2017-26.pdf [https://perma.cc/KU7C-
M6XV].
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 3
2018.
4
Historically, higher educational institutions have taken on a very
important role in our nation’s debates about diversity and inequality.
5
In fact,
diverse educational environments have been shown to promote life success and
reduce inequality.
6
These findings have led many educational institutions to
promote diversity policies. Still, diversity and inclusion contexts in university
settings are less than ideal. According to a U.S. Department of Education
report,
7
racially diverse enrollment rates have steadily increased since the 1960s
Civil Rights movement. However, college and university completion rates for
African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans still have not equaled Whites.
Additionally, the U.S. faces ongoing challenges with diversity and
representation among higher education faculty members. Overall faculty
representation relative to the demographics of the nation continues to fall short
for both gender and ethnoracial background.
8
To this, the National Center for
Education Statistics (NCES, 2018) found that “among full-time professors, 55
4
See Unidos US, Beyond Wages: Effects of the Latina Wage Gap: Fact Sheet, Nov. 2018,
http://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/workplace/fair-pay/latinas-wage-
gap.pdf [https://perma.cc/ES88-Y5B7].
5
See Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954); See also Regents of the
University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978); See also Fisher v. University of Texas, 136
S.Ct. 2198 (2016).
6
See Amy Stuart Wells, Lauren Fox & Diana Cordova-Cabo. How Racially Diverse Schools and
Classrooms Can Benefit All Students, THE CENTURY FOUNDATION (Feb. 9, 2016),
https://production-
tcf.imgix.net/app/uploads/2016/02/09142501/HowRaciallyDiverse_AmyStuartWells-11.pdf
[https://perma.cc/EQ2R-HUA2]; See also Patricia Gurin, Eric L. Dey, Sylvia Hurtado & Gerald
Gurin, Diversity and Higher Education: Theory and Impact on Educational Outcomes, 72 HARV. EDUC.
REV. 330 (2002).
7
U.S. Dep’t of Education, Office of Planning Evaluation and Policy Development, Office
of the Under Secretary, Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education: Key Data Highlights
Focusing on Race and Ethnicity and Promising Practices, Nov. 2016,
https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/advancing-diversity-inclusion.pdf
[https://perma.cc/TW6A-QQKD].
8
See also United States Department of Education, Office of Planning Evaluation and Policy
Development, Office of the Under Secretary, Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher education:
Key Data Highlights Focusing on Race and Ethnicity and Promising Practices, Nov. 2016.
4 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
percent were White males.”
9
According to the same U.S. Department of
Education report, ethnoracial faculty diversity has steadily increased since 1993
(i.e. from 3% to 5% for Hispanic/Latino faculty and from 4% to 6% for
Black/African American faculty). Furthermore, gender diversity among higher
education faculty has improved to approximately even between males and
females.
10
However, the largest gains for faculty diversity have occurred in
untenured positions.
11
As a result, considering the research, understanding the
broader condition of faculty diversity requires an examination of faculty tenure
status. Also, a conceptual understanding of faculty diversity in different types of
institutions is foundational if the general condition of faculty diversity is to be
more adequately described.
In this article, we will consider the ethnoracial and gender diversity of
faculty in U.S. college and university intellectual communities. We structure the
analyses into three sections: Section I will review the literature on faculty
diversity perspectives, practice, and policy. Section II will review the legal
landscape of diversity and affirmative action policies in national and state
contexts. Section III utilizes national data to explore patterns of faculty diversity,
dependent upon the afore mentioned variables. Finally, we present our
conclusion.
I. BENEFITS OF FACULTY DIVERSITY
This section will provide a general overview of important issues related
to faculty diversity. The first area to be examined is the educational benefits of
9
U.S. Dept of Education, Nat’l Ctr for Educ. Statistics. Fast Facts, Feb. 2, 2019,
https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=61 [https://perma.cc/2FTL-PVM5].
10
Martin J. Finkelstein, Valierie M. Conley & Jack H. Schuster, Taking the Measure of Faculty
Diversity, ADVANCING HIGHER EDUC. (Apr. 2016),
https://www.tiaainstitute.org/sites/default/files/presentations/2017-
02/taking_the_measure_of_faculty_diversity.pdf [https://perma.cc/G4E7-87TM].
11
Id.
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 5
faculty diversity for teaching and scholarship in institutions of higher education
such as colleges, universities, and law schools. Second, we evaluate the barriers
to faculty diversity such as underrepresentation, having a campus climate that
lacks a commitment to diversity, issues surrounding recruiting, hiring, and
retention of diverse faculty, lack of support for research, scholarship and socio-
emotional supports. Finally, we will discuss faculty diversity and perspectives,
practices, and policies.
A. Educational Benefits of Faculty Diversity
The first area to be explored involves the educational benefits of faculty
diversity within institutions of higher education, such as colleges, universities,
and law schools that have been shown to be an important factor for receiving a
well-rounded education. Mary A. Armstrong and Hannah Steward-Gambino in
their study Building Curricular Diversity through a “Social Movement”: How Faculty
Networks Support Institutional Change argued that diversity is an essential
educational goal in order to prepare students for a nation that is increasingly
interconnected and diverse.
12
Kevin R. Johnson in his article The Importance of
Student and Faculty Diversity in Law Schools: One Dean’s Perspective wrote, from his
standpoint as a law school dean, that diversity is an important factor to consider
when one is evaluating the quality of a law school and the education of its
student body.
13
Johnson stated, “Before becoming a dean, I firmly believed—
and continue to believethat racial, socioeconomic, and other kinds of diversity
among students and faculty is critically important to ensuring excellence at any
12
Mary A. Armstrong & Hannah Stewart-Gambino, Building Curricular Diversity through a
“Social Movement”: How Faculty Networks Support Institutional Change, 31 SOC. MOV. 112, (2016).
13
Kevin R. Johnson, The Importance of Student and Faculty Diversity in Law Schools: One Dean’s
Perspective, 96 IOWA L. REV. 1549, 1551 (2011).
6 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
law school.”
14
Johnson argued that for law schools to be able to achieve and
advance their educational missions, they should include arguments for a
multitude of diversities ethnoracial, socioeconomic, gender and more.
15
Johnson also explained that the educational benefits of faculty diversity can be
looked at through two lenses: the benefits of faculty diversity to teaching, and
the benefits of faculty diversity to legal scholarship.
16
In terms of the educational
benefits to teaching, Johnson contended that students, in particular law students
from historically underrepresented groups that have been excluded from law
schools and the legal profession, need role models and a diversity of perspective
that comes from a diverse faculty.
17
This diversity of perspective, experience,
and knowledge, stemming out of faculty diversity and teaching, Johnson argued,
also has a positive influence on the legal scholarship of the faculty as well.
18
The same can be said for the benefits of faculty diversity in terms of
teaching and learning in institutions of higher education. Susan Sturm in The
Architecture of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace Equity in Higher Education argued that
stakeholder’s higher education can lead to a path of “citizenship, leadership, and
democratic participation.”
19
Sturm explained that higher education serves as a
guidepost for students to follow while in pursuit of a career and therefore
institutions of higher education must provide a multitude of perspectives,
diverse peers, and a multitude of career pathways for students to choose from
so they can effectively contribute to a diversifying U.S. workforce.
20
With respect to faculty scholarship and research, the educational
benefits of a diverse faculty are exhibited in colleges and universities as well.
14
Id. at 1550.
15
Id. at 1551.
16
Id. at 1557.
17
Id. at 1558.
18
Id. at 1563.
19
Susan Sturm, The Architecture of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace Equity in Higher Education, 29
HARV. J. LAW GEND. 247, 333 (2006).
20
Id. at 333.
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 7
Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner in her article Lessons from the Field: Cultivating
Nurturing Environments in Higher Education, explored her journey through higher
education as a student and faculty member of color.
21
The researcher explained
how she came to understand the value of knowledge gained in one’s home
community, and how this could provide insight for others in cultivating
nurturing environments for students, faculty, and administrators of color.
22
Turner concluded that diverse faculty often add perspective, experience,
knowledge and methodology (i.e. narrative and counter storytelling approaches)
to an institution’s teaching and scholarship.
23
B.
Barriers to Faculty Diversity
A second area to be examined is the barriers to faculty diversity that
continue to exist in institutions of higher education. Alvin Evans and Edna
Breinig Chun in their article Are the Walls Really Down? Behavioral and
Organizational Barriers to Faculty and Staff Diversity, contended that hidden barriers
exist for women and people of color who are faculty and administrators in
colleges and universities.
24
The researchers argued that prolonged discrimination
in the educational workplace takes a physiological and mental health toll on
women and people of color, resulting in subtle behavioral forms of oppression
that perpetuate the institutional climate of exclusion.
25
They explained that these
barriers obstruct empowerment, participation, and retention, and offered a
solution to combatting oppressive institutional barriers through the concept of
“reciprocal empowerment” or the “sharing of power” between all parties.
26
21
Caroline S. Turner, Lessons from the Field: Cultivating Nurturing Environments in Higher
Education, 38 REV. HIGHER EDUC. 333 (2015).
22
Id. at 333.
23
Id.
24
Alvin Evans & Edna Breinig Chun, Are the Walls Really Down? Behavioral and Organizational
Barriers to Faculty and Staff Diversity, 33 ASHE HIGHER EDUC. REP. 1, 1 (2007).
25
Id. at 26.
26
Id. at 17.
8 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
Sharon L. Fries-Britt et al. in their study, Underrepresentation in the Academy
and the Institutional Climate for Faculty Diversity, had similar findings from their
research. They found barriers such as persisting underrepresentation, the fact
that the overall campus climate did not reflect commitment to diversity and
inclusion, a lack of diversity initiatives aimed at recruitment, hiring, and
retention, and limited institutional support for diversity-oriented research
interests and their negative implications for promotion and tenure of diverse
faculty.
27
Similar barriers affecting faculty and women of color in higher education
are also discussed by Turner in her article Incorporation and Marginalization in the
Academy: From Border Toward Center for Faculty of Color?
28
Turner considered the
problems that continue to plague faculty of color, such as the fact that they
remain underrepresented, their achievements are many times “invisible and/or
devalued,”
29
and that recruitment and retention of faculty of color remains a
difficult challenge.
30
The author focused on research from various scholars
examining the concepts of marginalization and highlighted the negative aspects
of remaining at the borders of academia, as well as the additional contradictions
and “ambiguous empowerment”
31
faculty of women of color face.
32
For
example, she problematized negative micro-aggressions that faculty of color
encounter such as energy-draining situations involving unconscious bias and
racial confrontation.
33
Barriers to faculty diversity continue to have an influence on faculty and
27
Sharon L. Fries-Britt et al., Underrepresentation in the Academy and the Institutional Climate for
Faculty Diversity, 5 J. PROFESSORIATE. 1, 13 (2011).
28
Caroline S. Turner, Incorporation and Marginalization in the Academy: From Border Toward Center
for Faculty of Color? 34 J. BLACK STUD. 112 (2003).
29
Id. at 112.
30
Id. at 113.
31
Id. at 115 (citing SUSAN E. CHASE, AMBIGUOUS EMPOWERMENT: THE WORK
NARRATIVES OF SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS (1995)).
32
Id.
33
Id. at 116.
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 9
women of color on a socio-emotional level. Turner’s Lessons from the Field:
Cultivating Nurturing Environments in Higher Education examined how barriers affect
socio-emotional well-being, feelings of loneliness, and need for mentoring
support.
34
Turner also offered solutions and recommendations based on her
research for future consideration, such as working towards creating culturally
engaging campus environments,
35
“cross-race, cross-ethnic, and cross-gender
mentoring to diversify the academe”
36
and cultivating nurturing environments
37
so that students, faculty, and administrators of color will experience success in
colleges and universities.
38
Considering the impact of the legal context for faculty diversity, Caroline
Sotello Viernes Turner with Juan Carlos González and Kathleen Wong (Lau)
conducted a qualitative research study entitled Faculty Women of Color: The Critical
Nexus of Race and Gender. They utilized a focus group approach that centered on
faculty women of color’s experience in higher education at White public
research-intensive universities.
39
The authors sought to discover the work life
and impact on faculty women of color, and their institutions, following anti-
affirmative action legislation and the two Supreme Court rulings of Gratz v.
Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger to provide insight into the ethnoracial and gender
composition of the universities that were being served.
40
The researchers
examined the concept of numerical tokens and used Critical Race Theory (CRT)
and Critical Race Feminism (CRF) as dual frameworks to analyze the issue.
41
The authors found that the anti-affirmative action movements had a negative
34
Caroline S. Turner, supra note 21, at 333.
35
Id. at 345.
36
Id. at 348.
37
Id. at 336.
38
Id.
39
Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner, Juan Carlos González & Kathleen Wong (Lau), Faculty
Women of Color: The Critical Nexus of Race and Gender, 4 J. DIVERSITY HIGHER EDUC. 199 (2011).
40
Id. at 199.
41
Id. at 199, 201.
10 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
impact on university contexts (such as feelings of alienation, isolation)
perpetuating environments that continued to pose significant barriers to the
advancement of faculty of color and hindering their professional growth and
development.
42
C. Faculty Diversity and Perspectives, Practices, and Policies
A final area to be explored is faculty diversity and perspectives, practices,
and policies. Julie J. Park and Nida Densen in their article Attitudes and Advocacy:
Understanding Faculty Views on Racial/Ethnic Diversity, discussed diversity in higher
education and how it has been an increasingly popular area within academia.
43
The authors explored the attitudes and perceptions of faculty members
regarding diversity and campus climate and how they play an important part in
maintaining its success.
44
The researchers also argued that diversity in
institutions of higher education has become largely a point of agreement as most
research indicates that ethnoracial makeup is associated with positive student
outcomes.
45
The findings also suggest that the likelihood of faculty holding a
diversity advocacy identity is influenced by a number of factors.
46
Their analyses
revealed that people of color, women, and those in English, Social Science, and
Humanities were the most likely to strongly agree with items in a diversity
advocacy identity survey.
47
Multi-variate analyses revealed that diversity
advocacy is also strongly related to political orientation, incorporating
ethnoracial and gender diversity in teaching and research as well as maintaining
civic-minded values.
48
42
Id. at 208-209.
43
Julie J. Park & Nida Denson, Attitudes and Advocacy: Understanding Faculty Views on
Racial/Ethnic Diversity, 80 J. HIGHER EDUC. 415, 415 (2009).
44
Id. at 419.
45
Id.
46
Id. at 416.
47
Id. at 428.
48
Id. at 428, 431-32.
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 11
Susan Sturm, in her article The Architecture of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace
Equity in Higher Education, discussed the concept of advancing workplace equity
through institutional transformation, by creating an environment where all
people can realize their capabilities regardless of their race or gender. She
explored the idea of developing a norm of institutional citizenship as an
institutional target for those working on diversity.
49
In describing the purpose
of full institutional citizenship, Sturm wrote that “identifying and removing
institutional barriers often advances the more general goal of enabling full and
fair participation, even as it also focuses attention on the circumstances
particular to ethnoracial or gender exclusion.”
50
Matthew J. Mayhew and Heidi E. Grunwald explored factors that may
affect faculty decisions to include diversity-related content in their course
curricula.
51
The purpose of the authors’ research was to build upon prior
research related to course curricula and institutional diversity planning.
52
The
study measured faculty commitment and perceptions of diversity, as well as
faculty perceptions of department level and top administration, commitment to,
and perceptions of diversity.
53
They found that workshops and activities
designed to promote diversity-awareness and facilitate faculty members’
incorporation of diversity-related content into their course materials was the
most significant indicator at the departmental and institutional levels.
54
Daryl G. Smith, Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner, and Nana Osei-Kofi
argued that to promote faculty diversity there is also a critical need for
institutions to examine and alter their hiring practices. To do this, institutions of
49
Sturm, supra note 19, at 250.
50
Id. at 250.
51
Matthew J. Mayhew & Heidi E. Grunwald, Factors Contributing to Faculty Incorporation of
Diversity-Related Course Content, 77 J. HIGHER EDUC. 148, 149 (2006).
52
Id. at 149.
53
Id.
54
Id.
12 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
higher education should utilize specific tools such as special-hiring interventions
and diversity indicators, as well as analyze how positions are posted to further
the goal of “interrupting the usual.”
55
The authors also recommended that
leaders of institutions seek to diversify their search committees and invest
targeted resources to foment a more diverse applicant pool.
56
They also argued
that institutions should encourage search committees to broaden their search
beyond typical networks for candidate selection and properly negotiate
compensation packages in order to be competitive for diverse candidates.
57
In summary, this section began by providing an overview of important
issues related to faculty diversity and its positive effect on educational outcomes.
Faculty diversity is found in the literature included positive benefits for teaching,
legal scholarship, and, more broadly, scholarship in institutions of higher
education. Second, higher education leaders should be cognizant of barriers to
faculty diversity in order to inform perspectives and improve institutional
practices and policy.
II. LEGAL LANDSCAPE OF FACULTY DIVERSITY
The conceptual legal underpinning for affirmative action to encourage
faculty diversity is amorphous.
58
Whether a diverse faculty constitutes a
compelling state interest, narrowly tailored, passing strict scrutiny for Equal
55
Daryl G. Smith, Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner & Nana Osei-Kofi, Interrupting the Usual:
Successful Strategies for Hiring Diverse Faculty, 75 J. HIGHER EDUC. 133, 156 (2004).
56
Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner, Before Starting a Faculty Search, Take a Good Look at the
Search Committee, 53 CHRON. HIGHER EDUC. 67, (2006).
57
Id.
58
See Ann D. Springer, How to Diversify Faculty: The Current Legal Landscape, AAUP
ASSOCIATE COUNS., 2 (2002). “To put it simply, the Constitution and federal statutes require
that employers eliminate discrimination on the basis of race or sex. Employers can be sued under
these statutes both for individual discrimination ("disparate treatment" of an individual) or for
policies and practices that create widespread disparities in the number of women and minorities
in the workplace (actions that have a "disparate impact" on minorities as a whole).”
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 13
Protection Clause purposes or is allowed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 prohibiting the use of race-based preferences in employment decisions
except for remediation purposes, remains to be determined.
59
The legal context
for hiring and retaining faculty is influenced by affirmative action policies and
legal cases that have been the subject of legal and political debate and analysis
of jurisprudence for over seventy years.
60
Our discussion does not focus on legal
cases and employment decisions centering on the employment of faculty, which
are directly determinative and controlling as legal precedent, rather we focus on
what higher education leaders are influenced by and face given the legal context
surrounding faculty diversity and admissions processes within higher education.
In fact, affirmative action policies in general, were never officially
comprehensively adopted in the U.S.rather they are a patchwork of
jurisdictional and organizational policy praxis, and often look very different
from organization to organization and state to state. However, the most
concrete form of affirmative action policy with respect to higher education
admissions processeshard quotas for considerations of race and/or gender
were abolished after the Supreme Court Ruling in University of California v.
Bakke.
61
Since Bakke, affirmative action policies have faced various successful
and unsuccessful challenges from legislation, citizens’ initiatives, or jurisdictional
authority that have addressed the concept in one form or another. These various
challenges have impacted the role of affirmative action in employment,
admissions, hiring, contracts, financial aid initiatives and diversity in our nation’s
59
See Suzzane E. Eckes, Diversity in Higher Education: The Consideration of Race in Hiring
University Faculty, 33 BYU EDUC. & L.J. 33, 34, 37 (2005).
60
See Caroline Sotello Viernes Turner, Juan Carlos González & J. Luke Wood, Faculty of
Color in Academe: What 20 Years of Literature Tells Us, 1 J. DIVERSITY HIGHER EDUC. 145 (2008).
“In a national context, the processes of hiring and retaining faculty of color are influenced by
the legal landscape, notably national debates on affirmative action and its applications.”
61
See Engelbert Ssekasozi, A PHILOSOPHICAL DEFENSE OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. (1999).
14 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
colleges and universities. The legal context combined with various forms of
scholarly inquiry have considered justifications for affirmative action that have
evolved around the diversity rationale.
62
This section provides an overview of
the history of jurisprudence on affirmative action in higher education, in
particularly in the context of admissions processes, and considers the
implications for faculty diversity.
A. Federal Executive Orders
The U.S. Constitution does not refer to education or diversity. In fact,
the federal government played no role in higher education to promote student
or faculty diversity until the 20th century.
63
Many executive orders relating to
diversity and affirmative action in higher education grew out of the political
climate surrounding the military and defense industries, which are legally
evaluated separately than other employment cases, but have still had an influence
and impact. During the Second World War, President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 of 1941 to eliminate racially
discriminatory recruitment practices within the defense industry.
64
This is
considered the foundation for subsequent executive orders, and expanded the
substance of the nondiscrimination obligation.
65
In the aftermath of the Second
World War, affirmative actions in higher education were marked by the
Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, also known as the G.I. Bill of Rights,
62
See Marlo Goldstein & Rebecca J. Meisenbach, Reproducing Whiteness Through Diversity: A
Critical Discourse Analysis of the Pro-Affirmative Action Amicus Briefs in the Fisher Case, 10 J. DIVERSITY
HIGHER EDUC. 162 (2017).
63
See Peter D. Eckel & Jacqueline E. King, AN OVERVIEW OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE
UNITED STATES: DIVERSITY, ACCESS AND THE ROLE OF THE MARKETPLACE. (2003)
https://www.acenet.edu/news-room/Documents/Overview-of-Higher-Education-in-the-
United-States-Diversity-Access-and-the-Role-of-the-Marketplace-2004.pdf [
https://perma.cc/R2GK-Z4ZY].
64
Exec. Order No. 8802, 6 Fed. Reg. 3109 (1941).
65
See Gregory L. Hanson, The Affirmative Action Requirement of Executive Order 11246 and Its
Effect on Government Contractors, Unions and Minority Workers, 32 MONTANA L. REV. 249 (1971).
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 15
during President Roosevelt’s administration. This became the first law referring
to access to higher education and grant funds to help the integration of war
veterans to the workforce, regardless of gender and race.
The Civil Rights movement that began to gain momentum in the 1950s
and 1960s stirred more affirmative actions for recruitment policies. President
John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Executive Order 10925 of 1961 required
government contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are
employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to
their race, creed, color, or national origin.”
66
Then, the Civil Rights Act of 1964
67
enacted an education legal framework of affirmative actions to “set off another
round of revisions to state constitutions to remove segregation mandates.”
68
For
example, Title VI regulations address racial or national origin to award financial
aid.
69
The concept “affirmative action” appeared in federal regulations but there
was “no general statutory obligation on employers to adopt affirmative action
remedies.”
70
Executive Order 11246 of 1965 issued by President Lyndon Baines
Johnson retained the nondiscrimination clause of a previous order that, imposed
upon contractors the duty to undertake "affirmative action” and established
non-discriminatory practices in hiring and employment by government
agencies.
71
Soon after, the Philadelphia Plan of 1967 was established to integrate
the building construction trade unions by race through non-White hiring.
An important outgrowth of the Civil Rights movement was affirmative
actions from presidential executive power in favor of racially based non-
discriminatory employment in public and private institutions. Updated
66
Exec. Order No. 10925, 26 Fed. Reg. 1977 (1961).
67
42 U.S.C. § 2000e (1964).
68
See Derek W. Black, EDUCATION LAW: EQUITY, FAIRNESS, AND REFORM 2 (2013).
69
Id.
70
44 Fed. Reg. 58509 (Oct. 10, 1979).
71
Exec. Order No. 11246, 30 Fed..Reg. 12319 (1965).
16 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
interpretations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act required schools and colleges
to take affirmative action to overcome the effects of past discrimination and to
encourage voluntary affirmative action to attain a diverse and more equal
society.
72
Then, approximately ten years later, the U.S. Supreme Court began to
shape the jurisprudent contours of affirmative action.
B. Court Cases
The Regents of University of California v. Bakke
ruling in 1978
73
was the first
U.S. Supreme Court precedent applicable to student admissions
74
and
established the premise that “a diverse student body is a compelling state
interest.”
75
The Bakke case “launched the contemporary constitutional debate
over state-sponsored affirmative action” and determined how subsequent cases
would be discussed.
76
Allan Bakke was denied enrollment to the UC Davis
medical school while admitted minority students had lower test scores. Up to
100 places were set aside under University of California at Davis student
admission policies for minority applicants.
77
The program was condemned on
equal protection grounds, since the University’s policies instituted a quota,
which is unconstitutional, in the opinion of Justice Lewis Powell. However, UC
Davis was allowed to continue institutional practices that sought to recruit and
admit minorities with a "compelling state interest" to foster student inclusion
and attain a diversified educational environment.
78
72
See supra note 70.
73
Regents of Univ. of Cal. v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978).
74
Ann Springer, UPDATE ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A CURRENT
LEGAL OVERVIEW. (2003).
75
Black, supra note 10.
76
National Council of State Legislature, Affirmative Action Overview (2014).
http://www.ncsl.org.
77
Id.
78
See Bakke, supra note 19.
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 17
The plaintiff’s in Hopwood v. Texas, four White residents of Texas, argued
that they were unfairly rejected because of the law school’s use of race as
consideration in the admissions process.
79
The Fifth Circuit court held that the
university could not use race as a means to “achieve a diverse student body.”
80
Texas House Bill 588 or the Top-10% Plan passed in 1997
81
as a result of the
Hopwood v. Texas ruling.
82
Flagship universities also took other actions aimed to
increase diversitythe Longhorn Opportunity Scholarship started in 1999 at
UT-Austin and the Century Scholars program began at Texas A&M in 2000.
The Fifth Circuit ruling banned affirmative action in admissions, financial aid,
and recruiting from 1996 to 2003.
83
The Hopwood decision was abrogated by the
Supreme Court in 2003, when the Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger
decisions were handed down regarding the undergraduate and law school
admissions processes at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
84
After Grutter,
UT-Austin used the 10% Plan and diversity as a plus factor in admission which
later led to the Fisher challenge.
85
In June of 2003, twenty-five years after the Bakke decision, the U.S.
Supreme Court decided in Gratz that the undergraduate admissions approach
was not sufficiently narrowly tailored to meet a strict scrutiny standard because
it did not provide individual consideration, but rather resulted in the admission
of nearly every applicant of “underrepresented minority” status. However, the
79
See Hopwood v. Texas, 78 F. 3d 932 (5th Cir. 1996).
80
Id.
81
See Julian Vasquez Heilig, L. Dietz & M. Volonnino, From Jim Crow To The Top 10% Plan:
A Historical Analysis of Latina/o Access to a Selective Flagship University, 5 ENROLLMENT MGMT. J.:
STUDENT ACCESS, FINANCE, AND SUCCESS IN HIGHER EDUC. 83, 95 (2011).
82
Hopwood, supra note 79.
83
Id. The Fifth Circuit ban in Hopwood impacted Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi until
abrogated by Grutter.
84
See Angela M. Hough, All Deliberate Ambiguity: The Question of Diversity, College Admissions,
and the Future of the Texas Top-Ten-Percent Plan, 39 TEX. TECH L. REV. 187, 206 (2006).
85
See Heilig, supra note 81.In 2009, Senate Bill 175 limited the percentage of under the 10%
Plan to 75% of an institution’s incoming first year, resident class, allowing some institutional
flexibility in admissions decisions.
18 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
Court reconfirmed in the Grutter decision that race can be considered in
admission processes in higher education, such as in law schools, as a “soft
variable” along with others, finding the practice constitutional. Therefore, the
diversity in higher education as a compelling state interest for the invocation of
race in admissions was reaffirmed. In synthesis, the Court’s direction for the
consideration of race in Gratz and Grutter is seen as indispensable and has
implications and influence on faculty diversity, as it is still allowed in the decision
process as a soft variable.
86
The prior U.S. Supreme Court cases examining race in admissions, set
precedent that has a significant impact on race and diversity in higher
education.
87
Despite these decisions, Whites have still questioned “whether their
rights were being violated by these practices and sought to limit these
mechanisms in the courts.”
88
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, in 2013, again
confirmed the use of race in admissions.
89
The plaintiff, who was White, was
denied admission to UT-Austin even though she was not among the top 10%
of her class (which would have automatically granted her admission). The
Supreme Court ruled that Texas’ admissions plan “clearly reconciled the pursuit
of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity.”
90
To this point, the litany of “reverse discrimination” court cases
regarding higher education admissions processes (i.e. Gratz, Grutter, Fisher),
which is a regular discrimination claim against people of color in the public
discourse, have not been successful at the U.S. Supreme Court. However, a new
case, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, was filed in 2014 on behalf of Asian
86
See Derek W. Black, supra note 68, 113 (2013).
87
Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003).
88
Heilig, supra note 81.
89
Fisher v. Univ. of Tex., 136 S. Ct. 2198 (2016).
90
See Julian Vasquez Heilig, What Other Universities Should Learn from UT: The Main Takeaway
From the Supreme Court’s Decision on Affirmative Action, HOUSTON CHRON. (June 24, 2016),
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/What-other-universities-
should-learn-from-UT-8321830.php [https://perma.cc/UB7B-YEBD].
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 19
Americans by Edward Blum, the same conservative activist that filed Fisher.
91
In
this case, it is argued that Asian Americans are presumably “being discriminated
against in the college-admission process, and among those taking their spots
were the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action, like African Americans and
Hispanics.”
92
The reverse discrimination litigation approach in Students for Fair
Admissions positions one set of students of color against others and is a novel
attack strategy to oppose the concepts of multiculturalism and “diversity.”
93
Moreover, in August 2017, the administration of President Donald
Trump ordered the Department of Justice’s civil rights division to move
“toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions
policies deemed to discriminate against White applicants.”
94
In July 2018, the
U.S. Departments of Education and Justice rescinded seven President Barack
Obama-era policy guidelines on affirmative action and have also filed amici in
support of the Asian American litigants in Students for Fair Admissions.
95
Potentially, the hostility of the Trump administration and a new conservative
majority on the U.S. Supreme Court may influence the case against Harvard
University and threaten the consideration of diversity in higher education hiring
and admissions decisions.
96
91
See Hua Hsu, The Rise and Fall of Affirmative Action. With a Lawsuit Against Harvard, Asian-
American Activists Have Formed an Alliance with a White Conservative to Change Higher Education, THE
NEW YORKER MAG. (2018).
92
Id.
93
Halley Potter, What Can We Learn from States That Ban Affirmative Action? THE CENTURY
FOUND. (June 26, 2014), https://tcf.org/content/commentary/what-can-we-learn-from-states-
that-ban-affirmative-action/ [https://perma.cc/B224-7K3B].
94
Charlie Savage, Justice Dept. to Take on Affirmative Action in College Admissions, N.Y. TIMES
(Aug. 1, 2017), https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/trump-affirmative-action-
universities.html?searchResultPosition=1 [https://perma.cc/8KMQ-5A48].
95
Erica L. Green, Matt Apuzzo & Katie Benner, Trump Officials Reverse Obama’s Policy in
Affirmative Action in Schools, N.Y. TIMES (July 3, 2018),
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/03/us/politics/trump-affirmative-action-race-
schools.html?searchResultPosition=1 [https://perma.cc/D6XF-SAMJ].
96
Anemona Hartocollis & Stephanie Saul, Affirmative Action Battle has a New Focus: Asian-
Americans, THE NEW YORK TIMES (Aug. 2, 2017),
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/us/affirmative-action-battle-has-a-new-focus-asian-
20 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
C. State Executive Orders, Legislation and Propositions
Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma,
and Washington are the seven states that have statewide bans on race-based
affirmative action at public universities.
97
While most states passed bans through
referenda, Florida’s Gov. Jeb Bush issued an executive order. Executive Order
99-281 of 1999, known as One Florida, which eliminated affirmative action in
admissions, government employment and state contracting. In Georgia, the
University System of Georgia dropped affirmative action in 2000 after it lost
Johnson v. Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and the university
decided not to appeal.
98
Together, these states inform the national discourse on
pursuing diversity without the consideration of race and have influenced the
national discourse about student and faculty diversity.
99
California, historically the most ethnoracially diverse state in the U.S.,
was the first to experience pushback against affirmative action. First was Bakke,
then in 1995, before Proposition 209, the Board of Regents of the University of
California system passed resolution SP-1 abolishing the use of affirmative action
in the University's employment and contracting practices with a direct influence
on faculty diversity.
100
California then passed the first statewide initiative that
banned affirmative action. The California Civil Rights Initiative, also known as
Proposition 209 of 1996, went into effect in 1998. It was the first state law of its
kind as it prevented the use of race, ethnicity, national origin, and sex in
americans.html?searchResultPosition=4 [https://perma.cc/L4YW-NKXD].
97
See Mark C. Long: Affirmative Action and Its Alternatives in Public Universities: What Do We
Know? 67 PUB. ADMIN. REV. 315 (2007).
98
Id.
99
Id.
100
Regents Policy 4401: Policy on Future Admissions, Employment, and Contracting (Resolution
Rescinding SP-1 and SP-20).
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 21
university admissions.
101
This proposition also affected employment in public
universities and resultantly the number of women and faculty of color
declined.
102
In 1999, the University of California Board of Regents responded to the
limitations on diversity from Bakke and Proposition 209 by approving a race-
neutral admissions policy approach called the Top-4% plan that went into effect
in 2001. The plan guaranteed admission to at least one school in the University
of California system for students graduating in the statewide Top-4% of GPAs
in UC-required courses. Later the regents approved a Top-9% plan that was
effective with the class of 2012 that included additional caveats such as test
scores, honors courses, and school quality.
103
Similar to the Texas Top 10% plan,
both the Top-4% and the Top-9% plans, are considered to be permissible race-
neutral admissions policies because they do not utilize racial or ethnic
preferences in admissions.
After California, five more states passed initiatives banning affirmative
action. The state of Washington Initiative 200, passed in 1998, eliminated
affirmative action in admissions, financial aid, and recruiting of all public
universities in the state.
104
Similar to California, this law prohibits “state and local
agencies from granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the
basis of ethnicity or national origin in public education, public employment and
public contracting.”
105
In Michigan, Proposal 2 prohibited state institutions from
granting preferential treatment based on race and ethnicity, among other factors
in 2006. Nebraska Initiative 424 of 2008 eliminated affirmative action programs
101
See BERKELEY LAW, THELTON E. HENDERSON CENTER FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE,
PROPOSITION 209 AND PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT IN CALIFORNIA: TRENDS IN WORKFORCE
DIVERSITY (2008).
102
Id.
103
Id.
104
See Long, supra note 97.
105
Berkeley Law, supra note 101.
22 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
at state colleges and universities. More recently, the same happened in Arizona
and Oklahoma with measures passed in 2010 and 2012, respectively, prohibiting
all preferential treatment based on race.
106
In 2011, the New Hampshire Legislature passed House Bill 623 that
prohibits preferential treatment by race in public sector recruiting, hiring,
promotions and university admissions. As a result, all state agencies, public
universities and community colleges were disallowed from the consideration of
race, sex, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation. New Hampshire is the
only state to have enacted such a measure by legislative vote.
Considering the benefits and challenges of diversity and the varying legal
landscape state to state, the next section seeks to understand the magnitude of
faculty diversity in U.S. college and universities’ intellectual communities using
national data. We compare Baccalaureate, Master’s and Doctoral granting
institutions to examine the magnitude of diversity and whether gender and
ethnoracial faculty diversity has changed in recent years.
III. MEASURING FACULTY DIVERSITY
The magnitude and improvement of faculty diversity in higher education
has been an important area of study in academic literature. Mary A. Armstrong
and Hannah Steward-Gambino in their research Building Curricular Diversity
Through a “Social Movement”: How Faculty Networks Support Institutional Change,
suggested that increasing faculty diversity is an important element for the
education and preparation of American college and university students.
107
Considering this, we now seek to examine the overall faculty diversity by tenure
status within institutions of different types in higher education across the US.
106
See Long, supra note 97.
107
Mary A. Armstrong supra note 12.
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 23
A. Data and Methodology
In view of the legal landscape and the academic literature noted in
previous sections, we now turn to a quantitative analysis of gender and
ethnoracial diversity across U.S. data for the current study which was
downloaded from the public Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
(IPEDS).
108
The data represent all U.S. institutions granting bachelor’s, master’s
and doctoral degrees. To understand diversity, variables for gender and
ethnoracial categories were utilized, including the category “race or ethnicity
unknown.”
109
In the following section, we detail findings about the percentages
in 2017 and the differences in gender and ethnoracial faculty diversity between
the years 2013 and 2017. Results are divided by institutional status based on
Carnegie Classifications. The classifications analyzed in this article are
Baccalaureate, Master’s, and Doctoral institutions.
110
B. Results and Findings
The first area explored by this quantitative analysis is the overall diversity
108
See IES: National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/about-
ipeds (last visited June 9, 2019), [https://perma.cc/84ND-ZPB9]. IPEDS is the Integrated
Postsecondary Education Data System. It is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually
by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). IPEDS
gathers information from every college, university, and technical and vocational institution that
participates in federal student financial aid programs. The Higher Education Act of 1965, as
amended, requires that institutions that participate in federal student aid programs report data
on enrollments, program completions, graduation rates, faculty and staff, finances, institutional
prices, and student financial aid.”
109
We excluded from this analysis the category “2 or more races” because this category
encompasses too many confounding factors which could convolute our findings.
110
See http://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu [https://perma.cc/99RL-KEGV]. Baccalaureate
institutions where baccalaureate or higher degrees represent at least 50 percent of all degrees but
where fewer than 50 master's degrees or 20 doctoral degrees are awarded. Master's institutions
generally include institutions that awarded at least 50 master's degrees and fewer than 20 doctoral
degrees. Doctoral institutions that awarded at least 20 research/scholarship doctoral degrees and
also institutions with below 20 research/scholarship doctoral degrees that awarded at least 30
professional practice doctoral degrees in at least 2 programs.
24 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
profile for institutions of higher education which are Baccalaureate institutions.
Table 1: Diversity Profile for Baccalaureate Status Institutions 2017 (percent)
Tenured
Tenure
Track
Instructional
Faculty
Men
57.36
47.52
53.23
Women
42.64
52.48
47.77
American Indian/Alaskan Native
.24
.38
.32
Asian
5.64
6.78
5.38
Black/African American
5.21
9.70
7.05
Hispanic/Latino
6.60
5.24
6.00
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
0.12
.15
.19
White
78.90
69.52
75.85
Race/Ethnicity Unknown
1.92
3.07
3.27
As shown in Table 1, the major findings for these institutions is that
9.7% of Black/African American faculty members are on the tenure track and
are 7.05% of instructional faculty more than Master’s or Doctoral institutions.
Results also indicated that Hispanic/Latinos are more often tenured than tenure
track in Baccalaureate institutions. Other findings include that men make up the
majority of tenured and instructional faculty, but the on-tenure track data show
a greater percentage of women.
These numbers also demonstrate that the two largest ethnoracial
identities are not equally represented in tenured and tenure track when
comparing the population of the U.S. and faculty demographics. The American
Community Survey indicates that Black/African Americans represent 12.7% of the
overall population but the IPEDS data show representation at 5.21% of tenured
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 25
faculty and 9.7% of on-tenure track faculty.
111
Similarly, this data shows that
Hispanics/Latinos represent 17.6% of the population of the US but, as indicated
by our data, make up only 6.6% of tenured faculty and 5.24% of on-tenure track
faculty.
112
Table 2: Change in Diversity Profile for Baccalaureate Status Institutions 2013-2017
(percent)
Tenured
Tenure
Track
Instructional
Faculty
Men
-1.92
-1.95
-1.74
Women
+1.92
+1.95
+1.74
American Indian/Alaskan Native
+.01
0
-.01
Asian
+1.02
+.31
+.68
Black/African American
+.49
+.83
+.12
Hispanic/Latino
-.05
+.61
+.25
Native Hawaiian
-.02
+.02
0
White
-1.76
-2.29
-1.47
Race/Ethnicity Unknown
+.20
+.12
+.93
As demonstrated in Table 2, recent changes in the gender and
ethnoracial diversity profile of Baccalaureate institutions include the percentage
of White faculty, and male faculty decreasing from 2013 to 2017 regardless of
tenure status. Despite this decrease, the IPEDS data indicate that the entire
change was not reflected in increases in other races and ethnicities in the
111
2013-2017 American Community Survey 5- year estimates, U.S. Census Bureau,
https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml (Select Community Facts in
top bar, 2017 American Community Survey “Demographic & Housing
Estimates”)[https://perma.cc/7C7K-DYAD] (last visited June 18, 2019).
112
Id.
26 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
tenured, tenure track and instructional faculty. This discrepancy may be due to
the exclusion of the “2 or more races” category from our analysis, or the
possibility that faculty may be less likely to report their ethnoracial background
as White in recent years. It’s notable that ethnoracial diversity between
Baccalaureate institution tenured, tenure track and instructional faculty has not
improved appreciably since 2013 (ranging from 0 to 1.02%)the largest
increase being among tenured Asians. For gender, a binary category in federal
data, decreases in male faculty can directly be accounted for by increases in
women faculty members (ranging from 1.74 to 1.95%).
The next area explored in our analysis is the overall diversity profile for
Master’s institutions. As shown in Table 3, major findings for this area include
that more Black/African American faculty members are tenure track compared
instructional faculty or tenured status, with 6.84% falling into this category.
Comparing institutional types, the data shows that Master’s institutions
contained the greatest percentage of women faculty members on the tenure
track. Other findings include, men make up the majority of tenured and
instructional faculty, but the on-tenure track data shows a greater percentage of
women.
Similar to Baccalaureate institutions, these numbers also show that the
largest ethnoracial identities are not represented at a rate in Master’s tenured and
tenure track faculty that is similar to their representation in the U.S. population.
The American Community Survey indicates that Black/African Americans represent
12.7% of the overall population but IPEDS data shows representation at 5.59%
of tenured faculty and 6.84% of on-tenure track faculty.
113
Similarly,
Hispanics/Latinos represent 17.6% of the population of the U.S. but, as
indicated by our data, only make up about 5.01% of tenured faculty and 4.92%
of on-tenure track faculty.
114
113
Id..
114
Id..
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 27
Table 3: Diversity Profile for Master’s Status Institutions 2017 (percent)
Tenured
Tenure
Track
Instructional
Faculty
Men
56.93
46.94
50.15
Women
43.07
53.06
49.85
American Indian/Alaskan Native
0.43
0.40
.42
Asian
8.82
8.71
7.24
Black/African American
5.59
6.84
6.29
Hispanic/Latino
5.01
4.92
5.07
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
0.16
0.17
0.17
White
76.76
68.20
74.96
Race/Ethnicity Unknown
1.40
3.22
2.42
Table 4: Change In Diversity Profile for Master’s Status Institutions 2013-2017 percent)
Tenured
Tenure
Track
Instructional
Faculty
Men
-1.76
-0.83
-1.86
Women
+1.76
+.0.83
+1.86
American Indian/Alaskan Native
+0.02
-0.09
-0.02
Asian
+1.24
+0.56
+0.67
Black/African American
+0.07
-0.32
+0.05
Hispanic/Latino
+0.64
+0.43
+0.62
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
+0.01
-0.04
-0.01
White
-2.11
-2.62
-2.15
Race/Ethnicity Unknown
-0.42
0.35
-0.01
28 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
As demonstrated in Table 4, another major finding from Master’s
institutions is that the percentage of White and male faculty is decreasing
regardless of tenure status. Despite this decrease, results indicate that the
numbers are not being accounted for by increases in other races and
ethnicities the potential reasons for this we discussed earlier. It’s notable that
ethnoracial diversity among Master’s institution tenured, tenure track and
instructional faculty has also not improved appreciably since 2013 (ranging from
0.01 to 1.24%)the largest increase being among tenured Asians. However, for
gender, decreases in male faculty can directly be accounted for by increases in
women faculty members (ranging from 0.08 to 1.86%).
Table 5: Diversity Profile for Doctoral Status Institutions 2017 (percent)
Tenured
Tenure
Track
Instructional
Faculty
Men
67.37
54.93
58.04
Women
32.63
45.07
41.96
American Indian/Alaskan Native
0.33
0.34
0.32
Asian
12.82
14.12
12.08
Black/African American
4.05
5.26
4.48
Hispanic/Latino
4.60
5.19
4.93
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
0.07
0.13
0.10
White
74.20
57.27
69.95
Race/Ethnicity Unknown
1.74
5.08
3.00
As shown in Table 5, Doctoral institutions are the least diverse across
tenure status. The major findings for this area include that White faculty
members are more often tenured and instructional, with 74.20% and 69.95%
falling into these categories respectively. Notably, the disparities for Women
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 29
faculty teaching in Doctoral institutions are readily apparent as 41.96% are
instructional faculty, nearly half of women are tenure track (45%) and only
32.63% are tenured.
The IPEDS data also demonstrates that faculty from the largest
ethnoracial identities are underrepresented relative to the population of the U.S.
The American Community Survey indicates Black/African Americans represent
12.7% of the overall population but our data shows representation at 4.05% of
tenured faculty and 5.26% of on-tenure track faculty.
115
Similarly, this data shows
that Hispanics/Latinos represent 17.6% of the population of the U.S. but, as
indicated by our data, only make up about 4.6% of tenured faculty and 5.19%
of on-tenure track faculty.
116
Notably, Asian Americans are overrepresented in
faculty demographics when compared to the U.S. population across all
institutional types and faculty status. This finding is especially salient in Doctoral
institutions as Asians represent 5.4% of the entire U.S. population, but represent
12.82% of tenured faculty, 14.12% of tenure track faculty, and 12.08% of all
instructional faculty.
117
Similar to Baccalaureate institutions, the percentage of White and male
faculty at Doctoral institutions is decreasing regardless of tenure status (See
Table 6). Despite this decrease, results indicate that the numbers are again not
accounted for by increases in other races and ethnicities. It’s notable that
ethnoracial diversity among Doctoral institution tenured, tenure track and
instructional faculty has also not improved appreciably since 2013 (ranging from
0 to 1.94%)the largest increase being among tenured Asians. For gender,
decreases in male faculty can directly be accounted for by increases in women
faculty members (ranging from 1.07 to 2.27%). Another interesting finding is
that while Doctoral institutions are currently the least diverse of the three
115
Id.
116
Id.
117
Id.
30 STCLH Hispanic Journal of Law & Policy [2019]
Carnegie institution types, the data shows that they have decreased their number
of White and male faculty percentages at a higher rate than other institutions
since 2013 (See Table 6).
Table 6: Change In Diversity Profile for Doctoral Status Institutions 2013- 2017 (percent)
Tenured
Tenure
Track
Instructional
Faculty
Men
-1.99
-1.07
-2.27
Women
+1.99
+1.07
+2.27
American Indian/Alaskan Native
-0.01
-0.05
-0.02
Asian
+1.94
+0.54
+1.23
Black/African American
+0.10
+0.30
+0.22
Hispanic/Latino
+0.65
+0.59
+0.69
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
+0.01
0
+0.02
White
-3.17
-3.89
-2.91
Race/Ethnicity Unknown
+0.31
+0.67
+0.36
CONCLUSION
Considering the educational benefits of faculty diversity and our nation’s
rapidly changing demographics, it is important that colleges and universities of
different types seek to address the ongoing barriers that are preventing
ethnoracial and gender diversity of tenured, tenure track and instructional
faculty. It is also essential that our nation’s universities centrally value explicit
and carefully crafted priorities that fit within the framework of the law and the
influences surrounding the legal context of affirmative action in admissions
processes, to hire and retain faculty to buttress university communities that are
diverse along many dimensions. While some progress has been made toward
Considering the Ethnoracial and Gender Diversity 31
gender equity, one of the biggest challenges that we noted in the national data is
that ethnoracial diversity among tenured faculty continues to lag across
institutional types. This is occurring despite that fact that the U.S. Supreme
Court has allowed diversity in admissions processes as a plus factoroperating
in most states where it is not explicitly banned.
College and university leaders have espoused the values of diversity in
the public discourse and institutions of higher education have advanced
programming, administrative positions, and academic discourse around race,
ethnicity, and gender. However, as our analyses of national data show, U.S.
colleges and universities have not realized much progress toward ethnoracial
and gender faculty diversity in recent yearsthe exception being a modest
increase (between 1-2%) in tenured Asians across institutional types. While
diversity, equity and inclusion are often widely promoted in the higher education
discourse, there is much more institutional action necessary to improve the
ethnoracial and gender demographics of the faculty in U.S. colleges’ and
universities’ intellectual communities to positively impact educational practices
and outcomes.
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