University of Missouri campus in Columbia slow to hire black faculty

In the last two academic years, the University of Missouri campus in Columbia has hired 451 faculty members. But on a campus that has been torn by protests over a lack of diversity and an oppressive racial climate, just 19 were African-American.

Data obtained by the Kansas City Star through a Freedom of Information Act request show that in the last two years, the campus hired more than 13 times as many white professors as African-Americans. In that time, MU also hired 61 Asian professors, 12 Hispanic professors, three American Indians and two Pacific Islanders.

The remaining 92 hires did not define their racial identity. Doing so is optional, university officials said. But even if half of those hires were African-American, the campus would still come up well short of meeting any standards proposed to ensure a diverse faculty.

African-Americans currently make up 11.2 percent of Missouri’s population. Concerned Student 1950, the predominately black student group that last November led campus protests, called for MU faculty to be 10 percent black by 2017 to better reflect the surrounding population.

MU has not set a goal for how many more African-American faculty it would hire in the coming years or how quickly the campus would see the percentage grow, but MU spokesman Christian Basi said the campus is “taking steps to make that happen.”

Read more: Kansas City Star


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