Graduate Student Union Report Condemns Lack of Success in Faculty Diversity at Yale

The graduate student union at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, recently released a new report that states that in 2005, there were 25 black tenured and tenure-track professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Twelve years, after two major faculty diversity initiatives, that number grew to 26.

Yale has hired a large number of people of color to its faculty ranks, but according to the report “the administration’s public focus on hiring obscures a fundamental problem with faculty diversity at Yale: The university has consistently failed to retain faculty from underrepresented backgrounds.”

The authors of the report state that “despite repeated efforts to bring in more scholars from underrepresented backgrounds, the university has been unwilling to make the structural changes necessary for these scholars to succeed and thrive.”

Charles Decker, vice president for research and contracts for Local 33, the graduate student union, told JBHE that “even when Yale does make progress in hiring, the overall numbers stay the same because so many faculty from marginalized backgrounds don’t stay at Yale. Among the causes of this attrition crisis is Yale’s failure to commit adequate resources to the study of race, gender and ethnicity — the same failure that caused 13 senior faculty to withdraw from the Ethnicity, Race and Migration program last month.”

However, Yale recently gave permanent status to the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration program. Alicia Schmidt Camacho, a professor of American studies and chair of the program stated that “our faculty withdrew their labor from the program earlier this term when we felt this work was unsustainable.” She added that the new “institutional status and permanence that will allow us to recommit to the program.”

The full report, A Failure to Commit: Inclusion, Accountability, and Yale’s Priorities, may be downloaded by clicking here.

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