Study: Nearly 90 percent of full-time professors are white

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, just 16 percent of full-time professors at post-secondary institutions are minorities. That means that 84 percent of those in full-time professorships are white, 60 percent are men and 25 percent are white women.

Those numbers decrease slightly with faculty. 79 percent of the instructional faculty within this nation’s colleges and universities are white and just six percent are black.

Considering the hiring boom that many schools have experienced since the start of the 1990’s, it’s mildly surprising that not many minorities were included in that growth.

The Condition of Education: Characteristics of Post-secondary Faculty shows that there was a 42 percent increase in the number of instructional faculty hired from 1991-2011. During that 20 year period, not many institutions hired minorities to fill their vacant positions.

Outside of ethnicity and growth, the study also found that the wage gender gap between men and women professors was well north of $16,000. Less than half of America’s private and non-private post-secondary institutions had tenure systems, faculty at for-profit colleges and universities make far less than those at non-profit schools, and less than 10 percent of all faculty within higher education are employed at for-profit institutions.

What’s striking is the gross under-representation of minority professors at America’s higher education schools. While many may be concentrated within Historically Black Colleges and Universities or schools who have a high number of black students, that percentage makes barely a dent in the overall number of black, Asian, Hispanic, American indigenous who may teach at America’s best schools of higher learning.

While the government is rightly focused on the rising cost of education, we should slightly turn our attention towards why many colleges and universities fail to hire minorities for faculty and professorship positions.

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