Assessing the Progress of Racial Diversity at Cornell University

After nearly a decade of service, Robert L. Harris Jr. is stepping down as vice provost for diversity and faculty development at Cornell University, the Ivy League educational institution in Ithaca, New York. Dr. Harris will remain on the Cornell faculty as a professor of African-American history.

In his ninth and final report on diversity at Cornell, Harris stated that a great deal of progress was achieved during his tenure, but he warned that there is still more work to be done.

Harris reports that the number of black faculty at Cornell has increased by 36 percent, from 39 a decade ago to 53 today. The overall growth in the number of faculty during the period was 7 percent. Over the past decade the number of black students in the freshman class at Cornell has increased by 23 percent.

Harris did note that the number of blacks in nonfaculty academic posts has dropped to its lowest level in a decade.