Snail-Like Progress in Increasing Black Full-Time Faculty in Higher Education

New data from the U.S. Department of Education reports that in 2004 there were 33,137 black full-time faculty members at degree-granting institutions in the United States. They made up 5.4 percent of the more than 610,000 full-time faculty members at these institutions.

There has been snail-like progress in increasing the black percentage of full-time faculty at U.S. institutions of higher education. Fifteen years ago in 1991, blacks were 4.7 percent of all full-time faculty. At this rate of improvement, it would take nearly two centuries for the black percentage of full-time faculty to equal the black percentage of the U.S. population.

Black women made up 51 percent of all African-American full-time faculty members. White women made up just 39 percent of white full-time faculty.

Black representation in faculty ranks grows smaller at the highest levels of faculty positions. Blacks are 6.6 percent of the assistant professors and 7.4 percent of the instructors but only 3.2 percent of the full professors.

Black women are only 36 percent of all African-American full professors but 54 percent of the assistant professors and 58 percent of the instructors.