Race and rank in Yale faculty
A closer look at the demographics and tenure status of Yale faculty members
Vaibhav Sharma, Photography Editor
The News analyzed yearly data from the Yale Office of Institutional Research, or OIR, to visualize changes in both the demographics and ranking positions of Yale College faculty. Here’s a closer look at the numbers:
Tenure, term and non-ladder faculty
The various ranks of Yale faculty are divided into three groups: tenure, ladder term and non-ladder.
Tenured faculty include tenured professors and tenured associate professors. Ladder term faculty include professors who are on the tenure track, or undergoing the tenure selection process, but not yet tenured. Non-ladder faculty includes both instructional and research positions that are not on the tenure track.
The number of tenured faculty has experienced a fairly steady rise from 2011 to 2020, with 52 professors achieving tenure over those years. The non-ladder faculty, while initially experiencing a steady rise as well, suffered a drop of 47 professors between 2013 and 2015. The number of ladder term faculty has steadily decreased over time with a loss of 37 faculty members over the time period.
This graph provides a more detailed look at the faculty breakdown of Yale College by academic division for the current academic year. “Ladder,” in the graph, contains both tenure and ladder term appointments, while the non-ladder criteria remain the same as in the previous graph. The graph also includes visiting professors, both instructional and research.
The humanities division has the largest number of both ladder and non-ladder faculty, with more than triple the number of ladder faculty in the engineering and applied sciences division. The social science and biological and physical sciences divisions have the highest numbers of visiting faculty, with four professors each, while the humanities division has three and the engineering and applied sciences division has only one.
Race, ethnicity and citizenship breakdown
The News analyzed data on the demographic breakdown of Yale College faculty, or the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, by race, ethnicity and citizenship. The graph uses data from the source from Yale Provost’s Faculty Development and Diversity team. The source and the graphs use federal race and ethnicity categories adopted by the U.S. Department of Education.
From 2008 to 2020, white faculty members have made up the majority of Yale College faculty, hovering between 63 percent and 71 percent of faculty. The next highest group are international faculty members, who comprised around 13.8 percent of faculty in early 2010s. The figure dipped to 10 percent in 2015 before returning to 13.7 percent in 2019. The last group that has held over 10 percent of faculty positions between 2008 and 2020 are Asian faculty members, making up 8.1 percent of the faculty in 2008 increasing to 10 percent of the faculty in 2020. From 2008 to 2020, Hispanic or Latino faculty members increased from 3.4 percent to 4.9 percent, and Black and African American faculty members hovered between 2.4 percent and 3.4 percent. American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and faculty members of two or more races have made up less than 1 percent of total faculty — but have had at least one faculty member — for all nine years.
This graph breaks down faculty by race across rank divisions. Ladder includes tenured, ladder term and also continuing faculty — faculty members not eligible for traditional tenure. Non-ladder faculty are split into instructional and research faculty who focus primarily on teaching and research, respectively.
Across ladder and non-ladder instructional ranks, the data follows the trends in overall faculty breakdown by race. White faculty continue to make up the majority of ladder and non-ladder instructional faculty members. Recently, Yale’s non-ladder research faculty became the only category to have a majority other than white. The number of international non-ladder research faculty overcame the number of white faculty in 2020, after that figure doubled from 23.9 percent in 2015 to 43.6 percent in 2020, and white faculty decreased from 44 percent in 2015 to 35.9 percent in 2020.
Race, ethnicity and citizenship breakdown for Yale graduate schools
The News also examined the racial breakdown of faculty in Yale’s graduate schools, separated by ladder, non-ladder instructional and non-ladder research.
In general, Yale’s graduate ladder faculty racial breakdown remained largely consistent with Yale College’s breakdown. Notably, the proportion of white faculty dropped by around 11.9 percent, and the proportion of Asian American faculty experienced a steady increase since 2008. Most of the other proportions for racial groups remained fairly stagnant.
The breakdown for Yale’s graduate non-ladder instructional faculty was quite similar. Still, the number of white faculty decreased by 181 faculty members between 2017 and 2020, and the number of unknown race faculty increased from 19 to 96 between the years 2012 to 2013.
Yale’s graduate non-ladder research faculty came the closest of the three groups to having minorities consisting of almost equal proportions to white faculty, with the number of international faculty coming in at 244 in 2020, compared to 263 white faculty members.
From 2011 to 2020, the gender breakdown of Yale College’s faculty has remained fairly stagnant, with only a 2 percent increase of the number of female faculty at Yale from 34.2 percent to 36.2 percent. Between 2014 and 2016, Yale College experienced a decline in their female faculty from 390 to 370.
The number of faculty members who reported their gender as “other” remained at zero until 2018. In between 2018 and 2020, five non-binary faculty members joined Yale College.