Black Faculty Are Scarce in Full Professor Positions

Blacks make up 5.3 percent of all full-time college and university faculty in the United States. But those blacks who do hold positions are concentrated in lower-level faculty posts. In 2003 only 3.2 percent of all full professors were black, up from 2.9 percent a quarter of a century ago in 1981. Of all black full-time faculty in 2003, 16.1 percent were full professors. In contrast, 28.6 percent of all white full-time faculty members were full professors that year.

In 2003 blacks made up 5.5 percent of all full-time associate professors, 6.3 percent of all assistant professors, and 6.9 percent of all instructors and lecturers. Nearly 24 percent of all black full-time faculty members were instructors or lecturers. Only 18 percent of white professors were instructors or lecturers.

In 2003 nearly 45 percent of all full-time faculty members of all races at U.S. colleges and universities held tenure positions. For blacks, 38.3 percent of all full-time faculty had tenure. Some 47 percent of full-time white faculty members held tenure.