As of 2022, there have been some significant successes for African Americans in higher education jobs. While there is still much work to be done to address the ongoing disparities and challenges faced by Black professionals in higher education, there are also many positive developments to celebrate.
Advancements in Leadership
One area of success is the increasing number of African American leaders in higher education. In recent years, there has been a growing number of Black college and university presidents, chancellors, and other high-level administrators. These leaders are bringing new perspectives and approaches to higher education, and are helping to promote diversity and inclusion at their institutions.
Increasing Number of Black Faculty Members
Another area of success is the increasing number of African American faculty members in higher education. While there is still a significant disparity between the percentage of Black faculty members and the overall Black population, there has been a slow but steady increase in recent years. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2018-2019 academic year, Black people made up 5.5% of full-time instructional faculty at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States. This represents a slight increase from previous years.
Contributions to Research and Scholarship
In addition to these successes in representation, there have also been significant successes in the areas of research and scholarship. African American scholars in higher education have made important contributions to a wide range of fields, from the humanities and social sciences to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Their work has helped to advance our understanding of a wide range of topics, and has had a significant impact on their fields.
Successes in STEM
One notable success in this area is the increasing visibility of African American scholars in STEM fields. Despite the ongoing challenges faced by Black professionals in STEM, there has been a growing number of African American researchers and scientists who are making significant contributions to their fields. For example, in 2021, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a Black immunologist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), played a key role in the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Proactive Steps for Diversity and Inclusion
Finally, there have been successes in the areas of diversity and inclusion initiatives at universities and colleges. Many institutions are taking proactive steps to address the ongoing disparities faced by African Americans in higher education, and are implementing policies and practices that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example, some universities and colleges are implementing bias training programs for faculty and staff, while others are creating new programs and initiatives to support Black students and faculty members. We also suggestions on how to adapt DEI practices in higher education.
Continuing the Journey Towards Equity and Representation
Overall, while there is still much work to be done to address the ongoing disparities and challenges faced by African Americans in higher education, there have also been many successes in recent years. Black leaders, faculty members, and scholars are making important contributions to higher education, and are helping to promote diversity and inclusion at their institutions. As we continue to work towards a more equitable and representative higher education workforce, it is important to celebrate these successes and to continue building on them.