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Hiring a Diverse Faculty

The challenges in hiring a diverse faculty at the college and university level
Marybeth Gasman

As the minority K–12 student population continues to grow into the majority in the United States, it stands to reason that the student population at colleges and universities will also soon become, says University of Pennsylvania Professor Marybeth Gasman, "majority minority." So, why is it, then, that the faculty at higher education institutions still remain so white — 79 percent white, in fact?

It's problematic, says Gasman, director of the Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions and co-author of Educating a Diverse Nation, when those teaching do not reflect the diversity of the student body. And considering that administrations of many schools have recognized the problem and have put money behind solving it, says Gasman, the fact that it persists becomes even more frustrating — especially since there are numerous qualified individuals ready to take on the jobs.

"They're out there; they're interested; they want to contribute in really meaningful ways, but we have to create pathways," says Gasman. "We have to have a will, and we have to be open to things operating a little differently."

In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Gasman takes a look at the challenges of diversifying higher education faculty and suggests how we can overcome them.

About the Harvard EdCast 

The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber and co-produced by Jill Anderson, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.


An education podcast that keeps the focus simple: what makes a difference for learners, educators, parents, and communities

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