The Board of Trustees discussed a new report Thursday which gave an overview of the ethnic diversity of the college’s faculty and staff.
Trustee Marianne Kugler said that the report is important because it suggests that the faculty may not be meaningfully connecting with a large segment of the student population.
“The research overwhelmingly shows that if you have students which are diverse, and a faculty that is not, then you don’t connect with the students,” she said.
The report, which is the first of its kind the college has compiled, found that among the students who reported their ethnicity to the college, 39 percent are white and 33 percent are Hispanic. However, among the full-time faculty, 71 percent are white and 19 percent are Hispanic. Furthermore, there is only nine black, eight Asian/Pacific Islander and five Native American full-time faculty members on campus. There are similar numbers for part-time faculty.
In order to address workplace equity, the board approved the creation of an Equal Opportunity Plan in April. A committee was also formed to serve as advisors for implementing and developing the plan.
A central part of the plan is for the college to, “develop and contact new recruitment sources that produce diverse pools of candidates.” However, even though 40 faculty and staff positions are projected to become vacant in the next three years, the college intends to leave the positions unfilled as part of an effort to eliminate the college’s budget deficit by 2020. It is unlikely that the faculty will become much more ethnically representative of the student population in the near-term.
The ethnic composition of the college’s management personnel is similarly unrepresentative. About 66 percent of management is white, with only 26 percent Hispanic. There is only one Black manager— Dr. Christopher Johnson, who is the associate dean of student body affairs and advisor to the Associated Student Senate.
Cristian Walk, commissioner of academics for the senate, expressed his incredulity at learning this information to The Channels after the board meeting adjourned. However, he also said he was happy to observe that the gender demographics of the college are representative of the student population: 52.4 percent of the college’s workforce is female, while 54.3 percent of the student population is female.
One piece of information from the report that made a strong impression on Trustee Victoria Gallardo was the fact that the college employs 510 part-time faculty— more than double the number of full-time faculty.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Committee will next meet on Nov. 30 and the public may voice their concerns at this meeting.