Growing minority student population contrasts largely white faculty
- More than 60% of faculty, administrators and board members in California's public two-year and four-year institutions are white, but more than 60% of students are racial minorities, according to a new report from The Campaign for College Opportunity.
- Data on faculty and administrative racial composition was drawn from faculty rosters and office data listed from the 2016-17 academic year, and revealed that minorities were typically more evenly represented among administrators than in faculty positions across the University of California, California State and California Community College Systems.
- Leticia Bustillos, director of policy research for the Campaign for College Opportunity, told the Sacramento Bee that anti-affirmative action policies like Proposition 209 have given campuses increased latitude to de-prioritize diversity in college leadership. “How could this be when we’re one of the most diverse states in the nation?” she told the Bee. “If we do not have enough qualified candidates, then what are you looking for?”
Surveying faculty, increasing applicant pools with aggressive recruiting and making diversity a talking point are proven ways to increase the diversity of faculty and staff on campus, but they can be hard to implement. Building diversity requires more than just sensitivity training or intentionality around new hires; it demands that leaders openly talk about the fears, suspicions and opportunities around diversity on campus before new placements are made and after new hires arrive.
Authenticity is the key to building tolerance; from students to faculty to administrators, people want to know up front what their presence communicates to people around them and how it could impact everyone's time in the classroom or in a shared workspace. But the courage to talk about diversity must come from leadership and must be undergirded with everyone having the assurance that their opinions are protected, valued and will be solicited in order to build a more tolerant campus.