Minority Faculty and Tenure

This whole Boston Globe article on race and tenure at Emerson Univesrity is good and very much worth a read, but this one section leaped out at me the most:

Minority experiences in academia differ drastically from their white counterparts, according to new research by the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Minority faculty leave academia at higher rates than whites, not because they are more confused about what it takes to succeed but because of factors such as the climate, culture, and collegiality they encounter.

Black junior faculty were less likely than whites to agree that they were being treated fairly and equitably and expressed less agreement with the statement that tenure decisions are based primarily on performance-based criteria, the research suggested. They also reported lower satisfaction regarding personal interaction with tenured colleagues.

Emerson has joined the Harvard collaborative of 130 schools, which seeks, as the Globe puts it, to “make the academic workplace more equitable for early career faculty.” And for good reason: Emerson has granted tenure to three black professors in its 129-year history—two of the three as a result of lawsuits. Two black professors were denied tenure last year.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.