Blacks Are Underrepresented in Academic Geography

Research published recently in the Journal of Geography examined racial diversity in the geography departments at 74 universities across the United States. The results showed blacks made up 3.6 percent of the total geography faculty at these schools. Blacks were 3.8 percent of the assistant professors, 5.1 percent of the associate professors, and 2.2 percent of the full professors of geography at these universities. At 45 of the 74 universities surveyed there were no black faculty members in the geography department.

The survey found that 3.2 percent of the students majoring in geography at these universities are black. Two thirds of the geography departments surveyed reported that they had made no special efforts to attract minority students. Less than half of the departments reported mentoring programs for minority students who had chosen to major in geography.