Report condemns lack of diversity of Ivy profs

The representation of minority and female faculty in tenure-track positions at Ivy League universities has remained stagnant over the last 10 years, despite efforts by university administrators to reverse the trend, according to a report released on Tuesday by Yale’s Graduate Student and Employees Organization.

The report, called “The (Un)Changing Face of the Ivy League,” found that of the 433 new professors hired into tenure-track jobs in the Ivies in 2003, only 150 were women, 14 were black and eight were Hispanic, representing 35 percent, 3 percent and 1.8 percent of new hires, respectively. From 1993 to 2003, the percentage of tenured minority professors in the Ivy League has remained stagnant, with blacks and Hispanics making up 2 and 1 percent of the senior faculties, respectively.

Yale lags behind its seven competitors in the Ivy League for its number of black tenured professors, according to the report, which GESO based on federal government figures. While tenured black faculty comprised 2.5 percent of Ivy-wide tenured faculty in 2003, blacks accounted for only 1.8 percent of Yale’s overall tenured faculty. Only Columbia University, with blacks making up 1.6 percent of its tenured faculty, ranked lower than Yale in the study. At 4 percent, Brown had the highest percentage of blacks in the tenured faculty.

Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said the University must determine where its largest challenges lie in bolstering the representation of minorities and women in its ladder faculty ranks.

“It seems that while our work is not done, we’ve been doing a better job lately in recruiting women to our faculty in fields in which they were underrepresented, and in moving some of them into tenured positions, as well as recruiting from outside of Yale women into tenured positions,” Salovey said. “We’ve been making some progress in recruiting African-American and Latino scholars to our faculty, but that impact has not yet been seen in great numbers in the tenured ranks.”

The report, which comes in the wake of Harvard President Lawrence Summers’ remarks regarding the shortage of women in the sciences, calls into question the impact of initiatives to increase the number of ladder minority and female faculty at Ivy League universities, said Rose Murphy, a senior research analyst for GESO and co-author of the report.

“With the Summers comments, all of the hullabaloo was at Harvard, but we really want to address the problem throughout the Ivy League,” Murphy said. “The first step is acknowledging that things haven’t changed in the past 10 years.”

The report shows that about 1.4 percent of tenured faculty positions at Yale are held by Hispanics, a figure that mirrors the overall trend in the Ivy League. Princeton boasted the largest percentage of Hispanic tenured faculty, at 2.2 percent.

Despite Yale President Richard Levin’s goal of increasing diversity among tenured faculty at the University, the number of tenured black and Hispanic faculty has remained steady for much of the last decade, according to the report. In 1993, there were 13 tenured black professors and eight tenured Hispanic professors. In 2003, there were 14 tenured black professors and 11 tenured Hispanic professors, despite a modest increase in the overall number of professors with tenure, from 744 to 798.

While the rates for minority faculty have remained flat over the last decade, women made modest gains. In 2003, women represented 20 percent of tenured faculty in the Ivy League, a 14 percent increase from 1993. But the percentage of female professors hired into tenure-track positions increased only 3 percent, from 31 percent in 1993 to 34 percent in 2003.

At Yale, women make up 19 percent of tenured professors and 35 percent of associate professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the professional schools, according to University figures.

Yale Office of Equal Opportunity Program Director Valerie Hayes said it is difficult to compare the numbers of Yale’s tenure and tenure-track faculty with those of other universities because Yale does not have an official tenure track system. Instead, the University operates a unique tenure appointment system through which it advertises all ladder faculty opportunities to an external audience in order to attract scholars “of the highest caliber,” Hayes said.

“We don’t hire professors into a tenure-track where they would automatically be promoted,” she said. “In many ways, this would provide even more of an opportunity for women and minorities to apply for tenured positions here at Yale, because we do attract individuals who are close to tenure at another institution who may want to consider Yale.”

GESO members and members of similar groups at the other Ivies will present their findings to Ivy League presidents today.

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