Black Faculty at Berkeley Has Not Recovered From the Ban on Affirmative Action in Hiring Decisions

Last week JBHE reported the decline in the percentage of black faculty at the 10 campuses of the University of California since the ban on affirmative action in hiring decisions was enacted a decade ago. While the number of black faculty systemwide has increased slightly, the percentage of the total faculty who are black has dropped from 2.7 percent in 1996 to 2.4 percent in 2007.

At the Berkeley campus, the most prestigious of the University of California system, the impact has been more severe. At Berkeley there were 43 black tenure or tenure-track faculty members in 1996. The number of black faculty dropped to 31 by 2003, a decrease of 28 percent. Since that time the number of black ladder faculty at Berkeley has increased to 38. But this is still five fewer black faculty than the number teaching on this campus before the ban on affirmative action in faculty hiring went into effect. In 1996 blacks were 3.5 percent of the tenure or tenure-track faculty at Berkeley. By 2007 blacks were 2.8 percent of all ladder faculty members.