credentials stronger than the one before it. That is, the student body has become
more diverse and also more highly qualified by grades, test scores, and rank in
class at the same time. We attribute those gains in part to an admissions policy
that evaluates each candidate individually and comprehensively.
Carolina has had the highest percentage of African American students in
the entering class six times in the past nine years among the top 50 national
universities, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. Asian and
Asian American enrollment was up 11 percent in the past few years. Hispanic,
Latino, and Latina enrollment now accounts for more than 5.5 percent of our
total entering class—up about 2 percentage points since 2003. Overall,
enrollment of underrepresented incoming students was flat this year, but it is
still strong historically—currently ranking 10th among top-30 universities.
Among our faculty, we saw slight single-digit increases in the percentages
of Asian, African American, and Hispanic scholars in our last statistical
snapshot taken last fall. And in recent years we have done much better among
female African Americans and male and
female Asians and Hispanics. Our track
record for black male scholars has not
been good (nor for black male students).
To those of us in senior administration,
and to me personally, this result continues
to be a source of frustration. We know we
need to do better. The current results are not due just to a lack of effort by the
university. We have confidence in our deans and their senior colleagues in
charge of searches. We believe that they get it. Although I do not discount the
lingering effect that underlying bias may have, often the major issue is simply
the pool of available minority candidates. I believe we can do better in the
recruitment of faculty of color than we have done, but to do so means
recruiting those faculty members from your universities. Real progress will
come from increasing the pool.
On that front, I am proud to say that Carolina has been proactive. The
Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity, a state-supported
initiative begun on our campus in 1983, develops scholars from under-
represented groups for possible tenure-track appointments at Carolina and
other research universities. The first postdoctoral fellow is now a vice
chancellor for student life. She is one of this program’s many success stories.
RLI 263 3
Diversity in Research Universities
…the richest marketplace of ideas results when
we have a faculty and student body—and a library
staff—characterized by great intellectual curiosity
and aptitude—and also by diverse life experiences
and backgrounds.
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