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We are pleased to present the Minority Equity Committee’s report. The Executive Summary of the report appears below along with the URL for the entire report. The report and its recommendations will be studied carefully over the coming months and a more formal response will be submitted at a later date. In the meantime, we would like to thank the members of the Minority Equity Committee, particularly its co-chairs, Dr. John Jemmott and Dr. Tukufu Zuberi, for their efforts.

Amy Gutmann,

Peter Conn,

Charles W. Mooney, Jr.,


Interim Provost

Faculty Senate Chair

Click here to view the President's and Provost's Response to the Minority Equity Report (Almanac, November 1, 2005)


Minority Equity Report

Executive Summary

The Minority Equity Committee was established in January 2002 by President Judith Rodin, Provost Robert Barchi, and Faculty Senate Chair David H. Hackney to undertake a systematic review of the status of minority faculty at the University. The charge was to assess the status of minority faculty across the University. Four subcommittees were formed to complete the review: one on the diversity of the faculty, one on the professional status of minority faculty, one on faculty promotion and salary, and one drawing on a survey of faculty regarding their quality of life.

This report summarizes the work of the Committee. The Committee used three types of data in its report: administrative data, quantitative survey data, and qualitative survey data. The administrative data includes faculty who did not receive their degrees in the U.S. or who were not permanent residents or U.S. citizens at the time they were hired. This confounding of immigrant status and racial/ethnic identity has serious implications for interpretation of the administrative findings.

For instance, if our goal were to evaluate the openness of the faculty pipeline for the minority population, it would be inappropriate to include international students in our count of “minority” students. This is not to say that immigrants who resemble or share characteristics with U.S. minority groups (and may be classified as minority persons) do not share some of the same difficulties as U.S. minorities; rather, we are suggesting that we have to be careful in our accounting of minorities. For example, if 10% of the faculty at the University were from Asia, the University could report a 10% Asian/Pacific Islander faculty population. If all of these faculty had completed their schooling prior to college in Asia, then their presence at the University would not be a valid indicator of the relative openness for Asian/Pacific Islander Americans of the faculty pipeline. In this example, the Asians/Pacific Islanders counted in the numerator are not actually part of the national counts of Asian/Pacific Islander Americans in the U.S. Almost one-half of the Hispanic/Latino and one-third of the Asian/Pacific Islander faculty members did not experience much of their educational training in the U.S. This fact reveals that even fewer U.S. minorities are represented at the University of Pennsylvania than some of the numbers in this report suggest.

The Committee reviewed administrative data on the composition of the Standing Faculty from Fall 2003, showing 2417 faculty members, including all ranks. Most of our data include faculty who did not receive their degrees in the U.S. or who were not permanent residents or U.S. citizens at the time they were hired. Self-identified minority faculty members represented 14.4% of the Standing Faculty. Of these minority faculty, 3.1% were Black/African American, 1.8% were Hispanic/Latino, and 9.4% were Asian/Pacific Islander. At the time the data were gathered, only one Standing Faculty member identified as Native American, an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education. If we were to exclude faculty who had a foreign degree or a visa at time of hire, the percentage that were Blacks/African Americans would drop to 2.9%, the percentage that were Hispanics/Latinos would drop to 1.0%, and percentage that were Asians/Pacific Islanders would drop to 6.4%.

The percentage of minority faculty varied considerably across the 12 schools. The schools with the highest percentage of minority faculty were the School of Dental Medicine (25.4%), the School of Engineering and Applied Science (25.0%), and the School of Social Work (25.0%). The schools with the lowest percentage of minority faculty were the School of Nursing (6.5%), the School of Veterinary Medicine (7.0%), and the School of Arts and Sciences (10.7%). 

Minority representation decreased with increasing rank. Minority individuals comprised 22.8% of the Assistant Professors, 13.1% of the Associate Professors, but only 8.0% of the Full Professors. We analyzed whether a faculty member’s race or ethnicity was associated with whether he or she was promoted from Assistant Professor and found no evidence of racial or ethnic differences. We analyzed whether a faculty member’s race or ethnicity was associated with his or her salary in the 2003-2004 academic year. We found no evidence that minority faculty were paid less than equivalently qualified White faculty. 

There has been progress in the presence of minority faculty at the University. However, this overall progress masks differential increases among racial/ethnic minority faculty, with much greater growth in Asians/Pacific Islanders than in Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos. There are clearly too few minority faculty at Penn. Their representation is lower than in the U.S. population, or even among our own student body. For the sake of both scholarship and equity, we must do better. The University of Pennsylvania ranks among the best universities in the world.  Our goal should be to be the best in minority, particularly U.S. minority, faculty representation. 

We recommend that policies affecting the recruitment, retention, and promotion of faculty be carefully evaluated for the potential negative impact on minority faculty, including a search for new evaluation and search processes that offer access to previously unconsidered, but qualified individuals. These new evaluation processes should be the responsibility of the provost, deans, and department chairs and should be part of the annual review of schools and departments.

On the surface, it appears that significant progress has been made; however, this may arise from our inability to isolate outcomes for faculty from U.S. minority groups from those of immigrants. The University does not have the data to allow such analyses. As a result, our analyses may be systematically misinterpreting diversity that results from immigration as diversity that results from increased representation of America’s minority population.

We recommend that the University collect uniform and consistent administrative data on the country of origin and year of immigration of faculty across departments and schools.In order to further rigorous analysis and to permit ongoing monitoring of minority equity, the Committee recommends that the University fund the construction of an integrated faculty data warehouse.

Our review of faculty teaching awards was limited by the fact that teaching awards are school-based, and there is no central source of data for such awards. Thus, the Committee used the Lindback Awards as a proxy for the recognition of teaching excellence. The proportion of minority faculty winning Lindback Awards was roughly comparable to their proportion of the total faculty. 

We did not find such comparability when we examined the number of minority faculty in leadership positions. Although each of the 12 schools had minority faculty at the associate and full professor rank, few had minority faculty in academic leadership roles. In addition, our survey results showed Asian/Pacific Islander faculty to be significantly less satisfied with the availability of leadership opportunities as compared to their White counterparts. From the entirety of these analyses, we infer that there are missed opportunities for minorities to participate in leadership roles at Penn.

We recommend that the president, provost, deans, and department chairs should work together to develop policies that assure that minorities achieve leadership positions and scholarly rewards in schools and departments consistent with their interests and capabilities. The effective implementation of these policies should be made part of school and department yearly evaluations.

The survey of the Standing Faculty (minority and non-minority) revealed important similarities between racial/ethnic minority and White members of the faculty. For instance, there was no significant racial/ethnic difference among faculty members in whether they reported that their research had been supported from extramural research grants over the last five years or whether they currently received extramural grant support. There were also no racial/ethnic differences in the reported number of extramural research grants received in the last five years, the number of these grants that were from federal sources (e.g., NSF, NIH), the number of extramural grants in the past five years on which they were the principal investigator, and whether their research had been supported by Penn research grants over the last five years (e.g., University Research Foundation). 

There were no racial/ethnic differences in whether faculty members reported they felt supported by their department in producing their scholarly work, or in their ability to present their work in peer-review publications or presentations. 

There were no racial/ethnic differences in the faculty members’ perception of the amount or quality of the space available to them and their research assistants. There were no differences by race/ethnicity in perceptions of the quality of the computer hardware available to them in their office or lab or in the type of secretarial/clerical support they received. 

There were no significant differences in self-reports of difficulty balancing family/home and work responsibilities, concern with burnout, too many time pressures, promotion criteria too difficult to attain, insufficient protected time for research, insufficient protected time for writing and engaging in important academic activities, feeling stressed beyond a comfortable, energizing level, insufficient job security, inadequate time for academic pursuits, and feeling overloaded all the time. 

There were no racial/ethnic differences among faculty members in feelings about whether their colleagues treated them with professional respect or whether their Penn colleagues honored and respected their intellectual contributions. 

However, there were several important statistically significant differences between racial/ethnic minority and White faculty as well. Compared with White faculty and faculty men, racial/ethnic minority faculty and faculty women, respectively, were more likely to report that faculty who were women, racial or ethnic minority group members, or persons with disabilities were at a disadvantage. 

Minority respondents were significantly more likely than were White respondents to report that they experienced racial/ethnic bias or exclusion by a superior. They were also more likely to report experiencing such bias or exclusion by a colleague. Black/African American faculty were more likely than were White faculty to report that in their daily encounters on campus that someone had ever assumed they were a trespasser. In addition, minority faculty members’ qualitative responses referred directly to their poor treatment/disrespect by students and senior colleagues, feeling invisible in their day-to-day experiences, and the added (but rarely acknowledged) responsibilities attached to advising students of color who were not their assigned advisees. 

Although there were no racial/ethnic differences among the faculty in the number of mentors or overall satisfaction with the mentoring they had received, this was offset by commentaries in the qualitative part of the survey. Of the 28 minority faculty members who responded, four indicated that they had received satisfactory to outstanding mentoring. Others described the relative indifference of senior faculty members to their status.  In particular, Black/African American faculty members generally reported little mentoring from senior scholars and department chairs. 

We recommend that the provost, deans, and department chairs work together to find ways to foster an academic culture in which minority faculty do not perceive themselves as being at a disadvantage. The University should also make a major and visible commitment to efforts to support such a culture.

Additional detailed recommendations are made in the full report.


Minority Equity Committee

Dr. Tukufu Zuberi (Co-chair)
Lasry Family Professor in Race Relations
Director, Center for Africana Studies
School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. John B. Jemmott III (Co-chair) 
Kenneth B. Clark Professor of Communication
Director, Center for Health Behavior and Communication Research
Annenberg School for Communication

Dr. Vivian L. Gadsden
Associate Professor of Education
Chair, Penn Symposia on Equity, Access, and Race
Graduate School of Education

Dr. Grace Kao
Associate Professor of Sociology
Director, Asian American Studies Program
School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Janice F. Madden
Professor of Regional Science, Sociology, Urban Studies, and Real Estate
School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Richard Salcido
William J. Erdman, II Professor and Chair
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
School of Medicine

Dr. Jorge J. Santiago-Aviles
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering
School of Engineering and Applied Science

Dr. Janice R. Bellace (ex officio)
Associate Provost
Samuel Blank Professor of Legal Studies
Director, Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business
Wharton School

Dr. Bernard F. Lentz (ex officio)
Director of Institutional Research and Analysis
Office of the Provost

Dr. Loretta Sweet Jemmott (ex officio)
Assistant Provost for Gender and Minority Equity Issues
Van Ameringen Professor in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing,
Director, Center for Health Disparities Research
School of Nursing



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 31, May 3, 2005


May 3, 2005
Volume 51 Number 31


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