MIT Shows Solid Progress in Black Student Enrollments

This past June, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology dismissed James Sherley, an associate professor of biological engineering who is African American. Sherley had been denied tenure and believed that the decision was due to racism by his department’s colleagues. He subsequently staged a hunger strike to protest the decision to deny him tenure.

The fallout from the dismissal of Professor James Sherley has not negatively impacted MIT’s ability to attract black students. There are 99 black freshmen at MIT this year, making up a whopping 9.3 percent of the first-year class. Blacks are a larger percentage of the freshman class at MIT than is the case at Princeton, Brown, Georgetown, and many other high-ranking universities.

Since 2005 the number of black first-year students is up more than 76 percent. Important too is that black student yield at MIT increased from 47.8 percent in 2005 to 65.1 percent this year. This puts MIT among the nation’s leaders in black student yield.