Minority faculty members grapple with choice between institutional mission and resources

Dive Brief:

  • Minority professors frequently face dissonance in the choice between research support and pathways to professional success at high research universities, and personal missions of serving underrepresented students at small institutions. 
  • Professors say institutions which are tuition-revenue reliant are frequently challenged to enroll a certain number of full-time students who can afford to pay for college outright, in order to support the number of low-income students receiving tuition rebates. This revenue shell game often limits the resources available for research sabbatical and teaching support resources that are readily available at larger schools.
  • According to some professors at a recent gathering at the American Historical Association, the name of a school often contributes to or helps to eliminate selection bias in submissions for peer-reviewed journals and publications.

Dive Insight:

The resource question is one which has long plagued historically black and community colleges from attracting high-caliber faculty across a range of disciplines. And this talent acquisition challenge extends to areas like sponsored research, recruitment and enrollment, and professional mentoring opportunities for high-achieving students.

Endowed faculty positions and liberal research time offerings are some of the ways in which low-resource institutions work to counter the disparities in pay and exposure, but obstacles in teaching assistance and tenure opportunities also present great difficulty in retaining great professors of color.

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Filed Under: Higher Ed
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