How to Recruit and Promote Minority Faculty: Start by Playing Fair

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Issues in Higher Education


American Association of University Professors

Publication Date



Sometimes, you have to review the rules of the game to make sure that you are applying them fairly to everyone. Recent legal attacks on affirmative action have made colleges and universities nervous about their efforts to recruit faculty (as well as students) from underrepresented minority groups. Special initiatives designed to attract minority faculty are of particular concern. The statistics on minority representation among tenuretrack faculty in many disciplines remain alarmingly low, however. At several recent conferences on these issues, I have been disappointed to hear deans and affirmative action officers express the belief that their own faculties often create the highest hurdles to minority faculty recruitment and retention. What can be done to ensure that the rules are fair and fairly applied? Before pursuing new programs that might be legally susceptible, faculty members should first examine how they currently evaluate candidates for appointment and promotion.


Originally published by the American Association of University Professors. HTML fulltext available through remote link.