GET THE COMPLETE BOOK: Finding Work for Black PhDs in the Academy
In July 2017, I completed my Doctorate in Business Administration/Marketing. I had been teaching Speech Communication since February 2016. I am still there. However, I only teach this class every four months and this does not sustain me. I had been teaching at Keiser University in Pembroke Pines but that was a commute of 100 miles per day, three days a week, and my car finally broke down. This commute cost me $250 in gas and tolls per month and the university did not reimburse me for those funds.
In the past three years, I have submitted hundreds of applications to schools in Florida like FAU, Palm Beach State College, Miami-Dade College, Strayer College, Lynn University, Broward College, and others. I had one interview in 2016, and nothing since then.
In actuality, very little has changed. White women continue to dominate the employment rolls. Black women are rarely seen waitressing, as airline stewardesses, on corporate boards, or as professors in the academy.
Last week, I found this article that explains why I am not getting hired to teach:
In fall 2016, of the 1.5 million faculty in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, 53 percent were full time and 47 percent were part-time. Faculty included professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, assisting professors, adjunct professors, and interim professors.
Of all full-time faculty in degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2016, 41 percent were White males; 35 percent were White females; 6 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander males; 4 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander females; 3 percent each were Black males, Black females, and Hispanic males; and 2 percent were Hispanic females.1 Those who were American Indian/Alaska Native and those who were of Two or more races each made up 1 percent or less of full-time faculty in these institutions.
The racial, ethnic, and sex distribution of faculty varied by academic rank. For example, among full-time professors, [82% were white] 55 percent were White males, 27 percent were White females, 7 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander males, and 3 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander females. Black males, Black females, and Hispanic males each accounted for 2 percent of full-time professors. Source: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=61
A study by UCLA rendered statistics about equity and diversity of Blacks in the academy and yielded the following numbers for the State of Florida.
This reported showed that “For every full-time Black faculty member at a public college or university, there are 42 full-time, degree-seeking Black undergraduates. Forty
institutions employ no full-time Black instructors. On 44% of public campuses, there are 10 or fewer full-time Black faculty members across all ranks and academic fields.” [Source]
My conclusion is that I need to find some other women of color with doctorates who have been unable to obtain employment. The travesty is that African-American women are the most educated group in the USA but are only 2-3% of teachers in the academy. We have hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans to repay but cannot get jobs with good salaries to pay off our debts.
Colleges and universities (in class or online) have no problem taking our money, signing us up for financial aid, knowing well that the policy of their institutions is to avoid hiring us. This is racial discrimination of the highest order. We suffer from gender discrimination as well and those of us who are middle-aged or above suffer from age discrimination.
Even at historically black colleges and universities like Howard University, a historically black institution in Washington, D.C., the faculty is only 58% black.
The disproportionate number of black, tenure-track college and university instructors — one out of every five — are clustered at 72 historically black four-year institutions that report the race of their employees. This despite the fact that those schools account for just 1.7% of all faculty nationwide.
Many predominantly white four-year public and nonprofit colleges and universities that have been promising for years to improve the diversity of their teaching ranks have made almost no progress in doing so.
In fact, the proportion of annual faculty hires who are black did not increase in the 10 years ending in 2016, the most recent period for which the figures are available; it fell slightly, from 7 percent to 6.6 percent, according to additional federal data analyzed by The Hechinger Report. Source: https://hechingerreport.org/after-colleges-promised-to-increase-it-hiring-of-black-faculty-declined/
It is time to bring this travesty to light. It is time for women of color to step up to the plate and call out the universities and colleges in this country for blatant racial, gender, and age discrimination. Perhaps, a class-action suit against colleges and universities will help to solve this problem in the USA.
Accreditation does now require diversity.
Accreditation is a voluntary, nongovernmental process involving the self-regulation of higher education that serves two purposes: assuring the public of quality and fostering institutional improvement. Accrediting agencies in the U.S. serve a broad range of institutions, thus making it difficult to implement diversity regulations across the board. Many agencies use standardized diversity policies or recommend that colleges and universities create their own objectives in this area, while others have relatively few or no requirements included in their accreditation standards. [Source]
Regarding diversity for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges stated that, “When peer reviewers evaluate a school for accreditation, they look to see if it claims to promote diversity and inclusion in its mission statement, and if so, they assess the institution’s efforts to do so” (Wheelan, 2005). [Source]
The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) is the largest national accrediting organization of degree-granting institutions that offer programs in professional, technical, and occupational fields. Perliter Walters-Gilliam, ACICS associate vice president of quality enhancement and training, says the council does not specifically have a diversity requirement in its accreditation standards. “The expectation is that diversity is included in the planning document every campus is required to complete,” Walters-Gilliam says. Specifically, each institution must complete an assessment of the effectiveness of its own diversity and inclusion efforts. [Source]
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is a regional accrediting agency serving public and private higher education institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific, as well as a limited number of institutions outside the U.S. in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Armenia. The commission uses a diversity policy in its accreditation guidelines, holding schools to both societal standards of institutional behavior and its own subset of standards. “Quality and diversity are profoundly connected in pursuing goals in the mission statements of colleges and universities themselves: goals of expanding knowledge, educating capable citizens, and serving public needs,” the policy states. [Source]
A poll I conducted on Facebook in March revealed that 70% of Black women professors are adjuncts, meaning that they have little job security and no benefits. “And most of those [30%] that are tenured work at HBCU’s[, while] only 2 percent work in primarily white institutions,” according to a Facebook poster.
Some 73 percent of all faculty positions are off the tenure track, according to a new analysis of federal data by the American Association of University Professors. “For the most part, these are insecure, unsupported positions with little job security and few protections for academic freedom,” reads AAUP’s “Data Snapshot: Contingent Faculty in U.S. Higher Ed.” The report is based on the most recent data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, from 2016 (Flaherty, 2018).
For three years, I have taught Speech Communication at a South Florida vocational college for medical students. I teach in March, July, and October. My bills are every month. I have not been able to acquire another course in my discipline – Business Administration/Marketing. One woman responded to my question: “Should we file a class action suit against colleges and universities” in this way, “I agree, Black women, in particular, we are the most educated of the groups and yet we continue to be pushed to the margins. She stated further that, “The problem is, although the research shows this, Black women would be reluctant to come aboard [for a class action suit] because it would kill their careers in higher education.”
In my opinion, some of us have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
In response to this post, a young MBA student from California, called me, today (April 4, 2019) to say that one reason why I might not be getting a response to my job applications is that I graduated from a university that is ASBCP accredited but not AACSB accredited, which is preferred.
ACBSP is a leading accrediting agency in the learning outcomes category. Like the AACSB, ACBSP has a rigorous review process to ensure programs meet accreditation standards, including assigning a mentor to help schools complete a plan for self-study. For more information on these accreditations go to https://programs.online.utica.edu/articles/aacsb-vs-acbsp-mba-accreditation
Ageism is more of a problem for women seeking employment.
A few years ago, the San Francisco Federal Reserve released one of the largest-ever studies on age discrimination in the workforce. After strategically submitting more than 40,000 fake applications to low-paying jobs often held by older workers (administrative assistants, janitorial staff, etc.), they found that young and middle-aged applicants had higher callback rates than older ones, and older female applicants fared far worse than their male counterparts. However, “Workers age 40 and up are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which forbids employers from treating applicants or employees less favorably because of their age through all aspects of employment. This does not protect employees under age 40, though some states have laws that do. ADEA also protects employees from harassment and from any employment policies that, specifically, have a negative impact on employees 40 or older” (Castle, 2019).
After colleges promised to increase it, the hiring of black faculty declined
- There are 8,300 professors of science, engineering, and technology (SET) in the UK and only 35 are black. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/why-my-professor-still-not-black#survey-answer
- Melissa Thomas-Hunt https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2018/07/09/thomas-hunt-named-faculty-director-for-moore-college
- Castle, B. (2019). Age Discrimination: What It Looks Like, and What to Do When It Happens. Retrieved from https://www.inhersight.com/blog/guide/age-discrimination-what-to-do
- Flaherty, C. (2018). A non-tenured-track profession? Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/10/12/about-three-quarters-all-faculty-positions-are-tenure-track-according-new-aaup
- Harper, S. R. (2018). Black male student-athletes and racial inequities in NCAA Division I college sports: 2018 edition. Los Angeles: University of Southern California, Race and Equity Center.
- Harper, S. R., Smith, E. J., & Davis III, C. H. F. (2018). A critical race case analysis of Black undergraduate student success at an urban university. Urban Education, 53(1), 3-25.
- Mayhew, M. J., Rockenbach, A. N., Bowman, N. A., Seifert, T. A., Wolniak, G. C., Pascarella, E. T., & Terenzini, P. T. (2016). How college affects students (Vol. 3): 21st-century evidence that higher education works. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Neumark, D., Burn, I., and Button, P. (2017). Age Discrimination and Hiring of Older Workers. Retrieved from https://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/el2017-06.pdf
- Smith, D. G., Turner, C. S. V., Osei-Kofi, N., Richards, S. (2004). Interrupting the usual:
Successful strategies for diversifying the faculty. Journal of Higher Education, 75(2). 131-160.
- Turner, C. S. V. (2002). Diversifying the faculty: A guidebook for search committees. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
- Turner, C. S.V., González, J. C., & Wood, J. L. (2008). Faculty of color in academe: What 20 years of literature tells us. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 1(3), 139-168.
GET THE COMPLETE BOOK: Finding Work for Black PhDs in the Academy