Ten Universities Join Forces to Address the Issue of Faculty Diversity

Ten major universities have joined together with the goal to increase the number of university faculty from underrepresented groups. Recently, representatives from the 10 universities met at the University of Texas at Arlington to discuss strategies to steer graduate students and postdocs to careers in the academic world.

In addition to the University of Texas at Arlington, other members of the group are Cornell University, Howard University, Northwestern University, Michigan State University, Boston University, Iowa State University, University of Buffalo, University of Georgia and the University of Maryland, College Park.

Panos Shiakolas, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, said “up to now, we have seen that underrepresented minorities lose interest in faculty and research careers at a much higher rate than well-represented groups. This project aims to improve the climate and promote inclusiveness in graduate education to increase the number of under-represented graduate students and postdocs interested in and prepared for faculty careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, or related education research.”

The new initiative is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and Professoriate program.

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