The College Post
The College Post -- Covering Higher Education in America

Majority of Post Secondary Faculty is White [Report]

Over the decades, the higher education institutions across the nation have seen a surge in enrollment of students from diverse racial and ethnic groups, but the country has not been able to make a solid ground for having a diverse faculty on campuses.

According to a new Pew Research Center report, most of the faculty in post-secondary institutions is likely to be white. Quoting the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data, the center said that only 24 percent of the faculty members in 2017 fall were non-white.

Compared to 34 percent of the undergraduate population, Hispanics and blacks constitute only 11 percent of the overall faculty across institutions that grant associate degrees and higher.

The Pew Research Center survey had found that minority students are making up a growing number of the population receiving undergraduate education, especially at public two-year colleges.

The share of racial and ethnic minorities in undergraduate education has seen an increase over the last two decades, with 43 percent of nonwhites enrolled in public four-year colleges, 37 percent in private nonprofit four-year colleges, and 50 percent in public two-year colleges. Private, for-profit institutions are the only colleges where nonwhites surpass the enrollment of white students, making up 58 percent of these student populations.

Between fall 1997 and fall 2017, the new report finds that the share of full-time faculty members who were nonwhite grew by only 10 percentage points which is lesser than the growth observed in nonwhite student enrollments over the same period.

During the same period, the share of Hispanic and black faculty has almost remained flat. Hispanic faculty increased from 3 percent in fall 1997 to 5 percent in fall 2017, while black faculty saw just one percent increase.

“The racial and ethnic imbalance in higher education is similar to the trend in K-12 public schools in the U.S., where teachers are far less racially and ethnically diverse than their students,” the report says.

A recent study conducted by University of Kentucky College of Education researchers had found that schools granting degrees up to the doctoral level are the least likely to have diversity among their faculty members. It found that only 4.6 percent of tenured faculty at such schools are Hispanic, and only 4.05 percent are African American.

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