No Improvement in Black Faculty Levels at the University of California

A new report from the Task Force on Faculty Diversity at the University of California finds that there has been an increase in the total number of black and other minority faculty on the system’s campuses. But the percentage of black faculty has remained stagnant since the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996. This public referendum not only bans race-sensitive student admissions at the University of California but also prohibits the use of race as a factor in hiring decisions for faculty positions.

The data shows that from 1984 to 2005 there have been 9,021 appointments to faculty positions at the University of California’s campuses. Of these, 275, or 3 percent, have been black. In the latest year, there were 20 black faculty appointments systemwide at the University of California. They made up 3.7 percent of the 542 faculty appointments.

At the flagship campus of the University of California at Berkeley, 48 blacks have been named to the faculty in the 1984 to 2005 period. They made up 3.5 percent of the 1,365 appointments made in that period.

The study also found that black and other minority faculty members are concentrated in the humanities and social sciences and almost nonexistent in many scientific fields. The report found that the number of black faculty on many campuses is so low that African-American scholars often develop a sense of isolation and marginalization in their academic experiences.