Harvard University's Diversify In Its Faculty Reach New Heights [Video]By Ava Jones, UniversityHerald Reporter
The percentage of women and minorities working as professors in the oldest university in the US, Harvard University, is in an all time high. The number of female faculty went up 13 percent since 2008. Meanwhile the number of minorities in teaching positions went up by 25 percent in the same period.
According to the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, the number of female faculty went up to 30 percent this year, from 26 percent in 2008, while the minorities went up to nine percent this year, from seven percent in 2008, Harvard Gazette reported. Harvard's senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity Judith D. Singer said their efforts on diversity turned out to be meaningful with this result. After 10 years, they finally see an increase in diversity in the faculty, and Singer said more work needs to be done.
By enhancing diversity, the school also enhances excellence, said Singer. Among the tenure-track faculty, the number of minority men and women has experienced the largest increase in the last 10 years. The number of minority men increased by 18 percent in the past decade, while the number of minority women went up 14 percent in the same period. Singer said there were only nine minority women in the faculty in 2008, but now, there are 27.
Harvard has shifted to a tenure track, which has decreased turnovers, Harvard Magazine reported. Singer said some 95 percent of faculty stay the same every year. Harvard's recruitment process is more diverse and robust as they work on developing best practices and provide better guidance on topics like conducting searches and reducing bias.
Singer said this reflects the efforts of the leadership of the University and all those who are committed to diversity. This progress is also brought by the faculty who are learning how important active recruitment, reading the works of the candidates, and engagement is.