diversity minority

Your faculty diversity could lead to innovation

TIAA Institute report finds slight gains in African American and Latino faculty over past two decades

Diversity among faculty in higher education institutions in America has made only small improvements in the past two decades, according to a new report released by the TIAA Institute. Efforts to increase faculty diversity can yield benefits–after all, diversity advocates have for years observed how diversity can lead to increased institutional innovation.

While the proportion of African American, Latino, and Native American faculty has increased slightly, most of the gains have been in non-tenure track positions, according to “Taking the Measure of Faculty Diversity,” a study by Martin J. Finkelstein, Valerie Martin Conley and Jack H. Schuster.

The report provides a comprehensive breakdown of the faculty demographics of America’s higher education system and notes that the current transformation of the faculty model has complicated efforts to increase diversity.

While underrepresented minorities held 12.7 percent of faculty positions in 2013, up from 8.6 percent in 1993, they hold only 10.2 percent of tenured positions. Similarly, women now hold 49.2 percent of total faculty positions but just 37.6 percent of tenured positions.

(Next page: How academic appointments have been dramatically redistributed)

Laura Ascione