Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Diverse Conversations: Mentoring Minority Faculty - Higher Education

Diverse Conversations: Mentoring Minority Faculty - Higher Education: Minority faculty find themselves at a huge disadvantage at institutions controlled by people of European descent. To discuss some of the ways in which institutions can ensure that minority faculty members are properly mentored and guided, I recently sat down with Olympia Duhart, Co-President of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), which has been hugely instrumental in promoting programs to address this important issue.

Q: Minority faculty have a particularly hard time in traditional universities. What has been your experience in terms of the specific reasons for this?

A: Difficulties experienced by traditionally underrepresented faculty members can often be traced to the lack of both institutional and informal support systems in place. Both schools and faculty members should be intentional and explicit about offering support for minority faculty. Often, colleagues with good intentions have no perspective or context for the additional difficulties faced by faculty of color. Someone has to start the conversation.