MIT must do a better job recruiting and retaining black and Hispanic faculty, who have a significantly more difficult time getting promoted than white and Asian colleagues, according to a frank internal study released today by the university. The Boston Globe reports that in some departments, such as chemistry, mathematics, and nuclear science and engineering, no minorities have been hired in the last two decades, according to the report, which was more than two years in the making. MIT’s first comprehensive study of faculty racial diversity and the experiences of underrepresented minority professors highlights a national problem across academia: the need to improve the pipeline of black and Hispanic scholars. Blacks and Hispanics make up only 6 percent of MIT faculty, an increase of 4.5 percent since 2000 but far below the university’s goal of achieving parity with the nation, where underrepresented minorities make up 30 percent of the population. The report indicates that in addition to focusing on recruitment and retention of these minority professors, the university needs to provide increased mentoring and expanding professional opportunities to make the climate at MIT more welcoming to underrepresented groups…

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura