Students Push For Faculty Diversity
DAVIDSON, NC- Less than 15 percent of Davidson College's faculty is non-white.
"It's just really appalling that out of 162 faculty members, full-time faculty, we only have 24 faculty of color. That doesn't represent the national demographic. It doesn't even represent the student demographic," said Melodie Mendez, a junior at Davidson College.
29 percent of Davidson's students are non-white. Faculty and students agree the university has done a good job with increasing that number, but it doesn't measure up to similar liberal arts colleges.
Some students say they've stayed quiet for way too long. Two weeks ago, dozens of students held a protest on campus calling for more diverse faculty.
20 years ago, anthropology professor Doctor Nancy Fairley was hired as the college's fourth black faculty member. Today, she's still one of only four and says the college is not following through with promises.
"It’s lip service. But there has not been a strategic plan," said Fairley.
Faculty member, Doctor Helen Cho, says the university has made efforts like creating equity advisors to work with search committees.
"Diversify where the jobs are posted with the intention of having a more diverse applicant pool," said Cho.
Cho says the school needs to do a better job of recruiting and retaining. Students agree.
"I don't think that Davidson is really making a whole-hearted effort to make racially diversifying our faculty. It is not the priority," said Mendez.
Mendez says that does her and the rest of the school a huge disservice.
In an e-mail to Fox Charlotte, a Davidson spokesperson says they school is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community. They say four new faculty of color will join the college next year.
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