7/15/19 Inside Higher Ed: “Attacking Chinese on Our Campuses Only Hurts America”
9/14/17 Yale University- Faculty of Arts and Sciences: “Kao: A “Data Junkie” Arrives at Yale”
Prof. Grace Kao is the first Asian American to gain tenure in Yale’s Department of Sociology
6/20/17 New York Post: “Yale dean who called people ‘white trash’ to be replaced”
The Yale University dean criticized for posting Yelp reviews that called people “white trash” is leaving her position, according to a report Tuesday.
June Chu, the dean of Yale’s residential Pierson College, had been placed on leave after her controversial postings surfaced.
5/31/17 Christianity Daily: “Garrett-Evangelical Announces ‘Historic’ Promotion of Asian American Female to Full Professor”
Dr. Wonhee Anne Joh has been promoted to full professor of systematic theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, the school announced on May 24, 2017.
The Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, located on the campus of Northwestern University, announced earlier this month that it will be promoting an Asian American female to full professor for the first time in its 162-year history.
5/14/17 ABC7 Chicago: “Newsviews: Asian-American leaders in medicine, social services”
Dr. King Li, first dean of the new Carle Illinois College of Medicine at the University of Illinois’ main campus
4/28/17 NextShark: “Meet the First Asian American to Become the Dean of Yale University”
By Ryan General
Psychology and neuroscience professor Marvin Chun will take on the role as the next dean of Yale College, according to an email announcement by University President Peter Salovey on Thursday.
4/3/17 Heat Street: “Calls For College President Rita Cheng to Resign Because She Rejects Safe Spaces”
By Kieran Corcoran
The president of a US university is facing calls to resign because she refuses to endorse safe spaces on her institution’s campus.
Rita Cheng, who leads Northern Arizona University, sparked protests and a campus walkout by telling students they had to confront ideas they don’t like rather than hide from them.
3/12/17 Diverse Issues in Higher Education: “Asian American Professors Suit May Expose University of Michigan”
by Emil Guillermo
A married Asian American couple — both a former and current faculty member of the University of Michigan — have charged the school with multiple violations of the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act based on race, gender and marital status in a lawsuit that could expose the school’s shallow commitment to diversity.
6/16/16 USA Today College: “Asian-American representation in classrooms: The next battleground?”
By Grace Z. Li (Harvard University)
A growing movement of Asian-American activists is adding a new voice into claims of systematic racism at campuses nationwide.
From alleged racism against professors of color to calls for more Asian-American culture courses, the issues have resulted in protests and petitions at schools including Dartmouth College, Williams College, Cornell University, Stanford University and Northwestern University.
Asian-American representation in classrooms: The next battleground?
1/6/16 Inside Higher Ed: “‘Inside Graduate Admissions’: What goes on behind closed doors when professors decide who should get chance to earn a Ph.D.? Author of new book was allowed to watch. She saw elitism, a heavy focus on the GRE and some troubling conversations”
By Scott Jaschik
. . .But the question of who gets into Ph.D. programs has by comparison escaped much discussion.
That may change with the publication of Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity and Faculty Gatekeeping, out this month from Harvard University Press. Julie R. Posselt (right), the author and an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Michigan, obtained permission from 10 highly ranked departments at three research universities to watch their reviews of candidates. . . . . . .
Across departments and disciplines, Posselt tracks a strong focus on ratings, a priority on GRE scores that extends beyond what most department would admit (or that creators of the test would advise), and some instances of what could be seen as discrimination. Of the latter, she describes a pattern in which faculty members effectively practice affirmative action for all applicants who are not from East Asia, effectively having one set of GRE standards for the students from China and elsewhere in East Asia and another, lower requirement for everyone else. And she describes one instance in which a candidate was strongly critiqued and eventually passed over in part related to her having attended a religious undergraduate institution. (More on both of those issues later.)
6/1/13 Daily Princetonian: “Lee GS’99 named next U. provost, first Asian-American to hold post”
By Jean-Carlos Arenas
Economics and Wilson School professor David Lee GS’99 has been selected to serve as the University’s next provost effective July 1, the University announced Wednesday morning.
Lee will be the first Asian-American to hold the post, as well as the highest-ranking Asian-American in the University administration. He will succeed Christopher Eisgruber ’83, who will become the University’s 20th president on July 1.
5/29/13 Associa ted Press: “Syracuse jury: SUNY must pay ex-prof $600K in back wages”
By The Associated Press
Syracuse, N.Y. (AP) — A federal jury has awarded $600,000 in back pay to a former college professor
in Central New York after ruling university officials retaliated against him for complaining about
The U.S. District Court jury in Syracuse sided with Jason Zhou (ZOH) in the dispute with the State
University of New York Institute of Technology in Marcy, where he worked as a finance professor from
2005 until he was denied reappointment in late 2006.
5/1/13 Chronicle of Higher Education: “Are Asian Americans Held Back by Stereotypes? Though Asian-
Americans and Pacific Islanders occupy a higher percentage of full-time, tenured faculty positions than
do other racial-minority groups, they represent a small percentage of the top leadership positions in
by Nick DeSantis
Though Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders occupy a higher percentage of full-time, tenured faculty
positions than do other racial-minority groups, they represent a small percentage of the top leadership
positions in higher education, according to a report released on Wednesday by the American Council on
According to the council’s data, 1.5 percent of college and university presidents are Asian-Americans
and Pacific Islanders. Though that group accounts for 7 percent of full-time, tenured faculty members,
Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders make up just 2 percent of chief academic officers and 3 percent
of academic deans.
4/28/13 Diverse Education: “Asian Pacific Americans Still Battling Stereotype of Not Being Assertive Enough to Lead”
by Lydia Lum
San Francisco: Although both of Dr. Lori Adrian’s parents were educators in their native Philippines,
she still describes her college presidency as an accident of sorts. Consider her life and career path:
3/21/13 Inside Higher Ed: “Academics born in India see growth in presidential ranks,”
by Kevin Kiley
Asians and Asian Americans make up 5.4 percent of all undergraduate teaching faculty in the country,
according to a 2011 survey by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California
Los Angeles. In a survey of presidents and chancellors by the American Council on Education also
released in 2011, Asian and Asian-Americans only made up 1.5 percent of those individuals.
11/7/11: Asian Americans are presidents of the following universities:
Butler University (Bobby Fong 2001 – 2011)
Dartmouth College (Jim Yong Kim, MD)
Northern Michigan University (Leslie “Les” E. Wong)
Seton Hall University (A. Gabriel Esteban)
State University of New York (Buffalo) (Satish K. Tripathi)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Chancellor) (Phyllis Wise)
University of Maryland at College Park, MD (Wallace D. Loh)
Asian Americans are provosts (vice-presidents) of these universities:
Miami University (Ohio) (Bobby Gempesaw)
University of California (San Diego) (Suresh Subramani)
University of Cincinnati (Santa Jeremy Ono)
1/2/13 Nature: “Asian researchers and engineers are too rarely made US science leaders,”
by Lilian Gomory Wu & Wei Jing
In 2009, Asians – defined as people from the Far East, southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent –
made up 78% of doctoral recipients with temporary visas who were planning to work in the United States.
Across all sectors, Asians in US science, technology, engineering and math ( STEM) careers are not
reaching leadership positions at the same rate as white people, or even as members of other
In academia, just 42% of Asian men are tenured, compared with 58% of white men, 49% of black men
and 50% of Hispanic men. Just 21% of Asian women in academia are tenured, the lowest proportion for
any ethnicity or gender. They are also least likely to be promoted to full professor.
The industrial and federal workforces reflect similar numbers. Asian men are doing better than Asian
women in reaching managerial positions in industry, but their numbers are lower than those for men of
other races and ethnicities. Just 4% of Asian women in industry and 28% in the federal workforce hold
managerial positions, again the smallest percentage for any ethnicity or gender.
Asians are almost absent at the very top of US companies. The company Leadership Education for
Asian Pacifics, based in Los Angeles, California, reported in 2010 that there were just ten Asians or
Pacific Islanders among the chairs, presidents and chief executives of the 500 biggest US firms; only
three of them were women.
Why the disparity? It may be down to cultural behaviors, and Western interpretation of these behaviors.
Asians are often stereotyped as a ‘model minority’: hardworking and patient, family oriented, good at
math and science and having a strong work ethic, but also humble, non-confrontational and lacking the
passion to be charismatic leaders. Worse yet, a work group of the US government’s Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission reports that Asians are often perceived as ‘forever foreign’, which can affect
how others assess their ability to communicate, their competence and, more importantly, their
Good leadership has a cultural dimension. In east Asia, for example, effective leadership is measured
by what managers do rather than by what they say, no matter how passionately they speak. A manager
in charge of bringing out a product there would work day and night to get it out on time and free of defects.
Communication skills are generally less important in this model. The idea in the United States that east
Asians lack passion and opinions comes from cultural perceptions of their behavior: in discussions,
east Asians tend to respond slowly, taking time to listen to what is being said and thus giving the
appearance to Americans that they are not engaged, are passive and have no opinion. These differences
can easily lead to unintended biases.
The problem may go beyond verbal communication. Grant applications to the US National Science
Foundation from Asian principal investigators between 2004 and 2011 have been consistently funded
in lower proportions than those from black, Hispanic and white principal investigators, which suggests
that differences in writing styles may lead to biases. For example, east Asians’ humble demeanor could
cause them to describe the implications of their research in modest terms, which might bring them lower
ratings from reviewers.
For full story, see
10/23/12 Examiner.com: “Dr. Santa Ono named University of Cincinnati’s 28th president,”
by: Marc Hoover
Santa Ono has been named the 28th president of the University of Cincinnati after former president
Greg Williams abruptly resigned. Williams left the university after several disagreements with the
U.C. Board of Trustees.
8/14/12 Harvard Crimson: “GSAS Appoints Xiao-Li Meng as New Dean,”
By Laya Anasu
Xiao-Li Meng, who as chair of the statistics department increased the concentration’s popularity among undergraduates and raised the profile of its graduate students, has been appointed dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
3/12/12 Chronicle of Higher Education: “Survey Finds a Drop in Minority Presidents Leading Colleges,”
By Jack Stripling
Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
In a troublingly stagnant portrait, the latest national survey of college presidents finds a profession
dominated by white men who have hardly changed in more than a quarter century. They’re just older.
3/6/12 Medscape: “‘Linsanity’ in Surgical Oncology? Asian American Bias Under Scrutiny”
by Nick Mulcahy
There are many Asian Americans in academic departments of surgery in the United States, but only a
scant few have achieved the top leadership position of department chair, according to a study published
in the March issue of the Annals of Surgery.
Of 383 academic departments of surgery, 8 are chaired by Asian Americans (2.1%), reports study
author Don Nakayama, MD, MBA, chair of the Department of Surgery at the Mercer University School of
Medicine in Macon, Georgia.
This is a low percentage given the fact that Asian Americans comprise 10.8% to 12.2% of all surgical
faculty members, and that Asian Americans have shown great talent in the field; they are the principal
investigators of nearly 20% of all National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported grants in surgery, according
to the study.
2/3/12 Philadelphia Inquirer: “Ursinus’ Fong a rare Asian American college president,”
By Jeff Gammage
Ursinus College made a highly unusual move when it named Bobby Fong its president last year.
Not because of his qualifications – he’s brilliant, educated at Harvard, editor of a volume of poetry, a world
authority on Oscar Wilde.
It was unusual because Fong is Chinese American. And in the United States, Asians rarely get to be
4/27/10 The Stanford Daily: “Report on faculty sheds light on demographics,”
by Elizabeth Titus
Of the University’s 1,908 faculty members, 290 are Asian as of September 2009, an increase since 1999 and 2004. according to this year’s Report on the Faculty, an annual study by the provost’s office about hiring, loss and demographics. At Stanford, about one in four faculty is female and about one in five is a person of color.
“The faculty as whole grows slowly,” Patricia Jones, the vice provost for faculty development said. During last year’s study period, the faculty grew 1.9 percent to 1,908 members, an average rate in recent years. That net growth came from 100 hires and 65 departures.
The report also examined tenure rates by gender and ethnicity. Among faculty up for tenure between 1995 and 2002, 85.5 percent of women and 79.3 percent of men received tenure. 82.4 percent of Asian faculty, 74.3 percent of under-represented minorities and 83.3 percent of non-minority faculty who were up for tenure between 1989 and 2002 received it.
For non-tenure line faculty up for tenure between 1995 and 2002, women’s and men’s rates were nearly level, at 53.5 percent and 53.7 percent respectively. Between 1989 and 2002, 52.5 percent of Asian faculty, 39.4 percent of under-represented minorities and 53.5 percent of non-minorities got tenure. The data are from an internal database of the Faculty Affairs division of the provost’s office, Jones said.
4/12/10 Boston Globe: “Harvard Corporation elects leading lawyer: Commitment to innovation is Lee’s priority,”
By James F. Smith
Harvard University announced yesterday that William F. Lee, a nationally known Boston lawyer with deep roots in the university, has been elected to the Harvard Corporation, the institution’s principal governing body.
Lee, who is co-managing partner of the Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr law firm that employs 1,000 lawyers, will join the seven-member Harvard Corporation July 1, when James R. Houghton, 73, its longest-serving member, steps down after 15 years of service.
Lee, twice named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal, graduated from Harvard in 1972 and taught courses at Harvard Law School for about five years. He served for six years on the Harvard Board of Overseers, the 30-member consultative body elected by university alumni.
In a phone interview yesterday, Lee noted that as a Board of Overseers member he served on two joint committees with the corporation – the audit committee and the presidential search committee that chose Drew Gilpin Faust to succeed Lawrence Summers in 2007 – so he has worked with the seven current members of the corporation, which is led by Faust and picks new members when vacancies occur.
Lee said his overriding priority will be to keep all the institutions that make up Harvard innovative.
“Harvard is the most unique and extraordinary institution in the world,” he said, “but . . . there’s also a lot of inertia that comes from age and traditions.”
Lee said his years of focus on intellectual property legal issues have made clear to him “there is nothing more important than the area of science and technology,” and he would work to make sure that Harvard is at the forefront of both those fields.
The corporation oversees Harvard’s finances, and has come under fire for failing to anticipate and deal with the plunge in Harvard’s endowment during the recession.
Two Harvard professors, Fred Abernathy and Harry Lewis, wrote in a Globe column in December that the Harvard Corporation “is a dangerous anachronism. It failed its most basic fiduciary and moral responsibilities. Some of its members should resign.”
They said the corporation is “too small, too closed, and too secretive to be intensely self-critical, as any responsible board must be.”
Lee, a Philadelphia-born son of Chinese immigrants who came to the United States in 1948, was named one of the 50 most influential minority lawyers in the United States in 2008 by the National Law Journal.
“I grew up at a time when being Chinese was a little bit harder than it is today,” he said. “My parents came to the US when Chinese could not become naturalized citizens.”
He said he recalled sitting with his parents when they bought their first house and waiting anxiously to learn whether they would be accepted by the neighborhood association.
“My father once told me to be proud that you are Chinese and don’t forget it, because nobody else ever will,” he said.
Lee, an avid runner who just turned 60 and lives in Wellesley, has sent two of his children to Harvard and his two brothers teach at Harvard Medical School.
He said he fully supports the steps over the past decade to make Harvard a more global organization, “and more importantly to make the student body more global.”
From 1987-89, Lee served as associate counsel to Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh in the Iran-Contra investigation, which led to several convictions of Reagan Administration officials.
Lee co-leads one of the country’s leading law firms, a nearly $1 billion enterprise. He was managing partner of Hale and Dorr from 2000 to 2004, when it merged with Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering. He also is on the new board of the Broad Institute, the cutting-edge genomic medicine institute in Cambridge.
3/31/10 New York Times: “Sports of The Times: For Butler’s President, Excellence Is Expected,”
by William C. Rhoden
As the first American-born child of Chinese immigrants, Bobby Fong, the Butler University president, learned math by computing baseball statistics. He learned about the United States by studying the game of baseball.
“Baseball was my introduction to American life,” Fong said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “I’m an immigrant’s son; I didn’t speak English much until I began kindergarten.”
He grew up in Oakland, Calif., and when the Dodgers and the Giants relocated to Los Angeles and San Francisco in 1958, Fong could not understand what all the fuss was about.
“Everybody was raving about Duke Snider and Willie Mays,” Fong said. “I raised my hand one day in class and asked, “What’s baseball?”
The teacher explained to Fong that if he wanted to understand American life, he needed to learn about baseball. “I did and I’ve been overcompensating ever since,” he said.
Today, Fong has a new passion: college basketball. Fong has discovered how a winning basketball team can move a university into a national spotlight – for all of the right reasons.
Butler has become the inspirational face of March Madness. The team’s success has had instant impact. “In the last few days we’ve had trouble keeping the admission Web site up,” he said. “It crashed at least once.”
What makes the N.C.A.A. tournament fascinating are the contrasts. Saturday’s national semifinal game between Butler and Michigan State offers a stark contrast.
Butler has an undergraduate enrollment of 3,900, Michigan State about 35,000. Butler Coach Brad Stevens, 33, who quit his job at Eli Lilly, a pharmaceuticals manufacturer, to become a volunteer assistant at Butler, is making his first Final Four appearance. Tom Izzo, 55, has taken Michigan State to six Final Fours in the last 12 seasons, winning a national championship in 2000.
Stevens earns a reported $750,000; Izzo’s salary is estimated at $2.8 million a year.
The decision facing Fong, probably sooner than later, is whether to break the bank to keep Stevens when larger programs come calling.
Both of Fong’s parents died before he entered college, giving him a different perspective about money versus happiness and security.
“I always needed to worry about where the next dollar was going to come from,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with worrying about how to be secure economically. It may be a necessary thing, but it’s not the sufficient thing. There are things that ultimately will make for satisfaction in life that go far beyond that.”
Fong, the Butler president since 2001, said Stevens had created a legacy there that could be as good as gold.
“However long he stays, he doesn’t have to leave simply for the cash,” Fong said. All of us want to leave a legacy, and the nature of that legacy may be more important than simply being comfortable beyond a certain level. Once you hit a million, the difference between one million and four is numbers. What Tom Izzo has at Michigan State is a legacy. That’s really by far the more valuable thing.”
We shall see.
The difference between the Michigan States and the Butlers of the world is the ability to consistently be among the last teams standing in late March.
Sometimes a university is so smitten by the sweet taste of success that it cuts corners and makes concessions and exceptions to its core values. Sometimes the concession is whom you hire as coach. Sometimes it is whom you accept as student-athletes.
“We work from the presumption that there should be not a gap between academic excellence and athletic excellence,” Fong said. “Our promise to our students is that if we admit you, we believe that you are capable of getting a degree from Butler University. It’s not that we’re trying to keep people out. We expect students to hit the ground running. We don’t have any developmental or remedial courses. The expectation is that you are here to be a student first.”
Fong received an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard and his doctorate in English literature from U.C.L.A. It was at U.C.L.A. that he began a continuing passion for the work of Oscar Wilde.
He continues to be a passionate baseball card collector, and his soul is found in the classroom. “My real job is being a professor of literature,” Fong said.
Butler has become a compelling narrative, a midmajor university that, from all appearances has successfully married academic and athletic aspirations.
“My students will never forget being part of this experience at Butler University,” Fong said. “It’s going to be tied into the stories they tell of their own lives going forward. Those memories are going to warm them in hard times.”
Even then this moment will be difficult to comprehend: the Butler Bulldogs in the Final Four.
11/17/09 Harvard Crimson: “Faculty Diversity Report Released: Percentage of female and minority faculty up this year,”
by Xi Yu
The number of female faculty members has increased by 16 percent since 2003 and the number of minorities has increased by 23 percent over the same time, according to the 2009 Faculty Development and Diversity Annual Report.
The report – which was released last week – showed that women now hold 26 percent of the 2009-2010 ladder faculty positions at the University, which include professor, associate professor, and assistant professor.
But while the percentage of women in senior faculty positions (professor) has remained a constant 21 percent from the 2008 report to 2009, the percentage of women who are junior faculty (assistant professor, associate professor) has actually decreased from 37 percent to 36 percent.
Judith D. Singer, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, who oversaw the report, said that the pipeline issues for women tend to be less problematic than the pipeline issues for minorities.
“I think there’s an increased consciousness that there are many excellent women on our junior faculty and elsewhere that we’d want to have as colleagues,” Singer said. “Increasing attention to issues for women and women faculty, this is a good news part of the story.”
The report suggests that minorities currently represent 17 percent of the faculty – a small increase from last year’s 16 percent.
“We’re trying to get more minority faculty into every level of the University in all fields,” Singer said. “The numbers of minority Ph.Ds who want to go into academia are simply too low, especially when it comes to blacks, Latinos, and Native American faculty. We’re making a conscious effort like our peers to increase the pipeline, even at the undergraduate level.”
In terms of Asian/Pacific Islanders, the report shows a 23 percent increase over the past six years.
The combined percentage of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans has remained at approximately five percent over the same period.
According to the report, the total number of senior faculty members has risen by twelve percent during the past six years, but the percentage of junior faculty members has decreased by two percent.
Singer said that the University has placed emphasis on nurturing the junior faculty, hiring people who are initially qualified, and supporting them when they are here.
“We are hiring, we are continuing to recruit,” Singer said. “We will work very hard to aggressively retain our faculty.”
11/10/09 Harvard Magazine: “Faculty Diversity Developments,”
Women now hold 26 percent of the ladder-faculty positions (professor, associate professor, assistant professor) at the University: 395 positions out of 1,507, and minorities 17 percent 258 positions, according to the 2009 annual report of the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity (FD&D), published today. The report and accompanying exhibits are posted at the FD&D website.
According to the report, the number of ladder faculty members rose by 96 (7 percent) during the past six years; senior appointments rose from 888 to 997, and the junior-faculty census declined from 523 to 510. Two-thirds of Harvard’s ladder faculty members are full professors, and just one-third are in the junior ranks (assistant and associate professors), where women and minorities are much more heavily represented.
The data, published under the auspices of FD&D’s director, senior vice provost Judith D. Singer, show that within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), women hold 22 percent of the senior professorships, but 37 percent of the junior appointments. By division, women hold 23 percent of the full professorships in the social sciences, 32 percent in the humanities, 12 percent in the natural sciences, and 9 percent in engineering. The representation of women in the junior-faculty ranks is a different story entirely: 46 percent of junior-faculty members in social sciences are women, 40 percent in humanities, 28 percent in natural sciences, and 22 percent in engineering.
In the professional schools, the proportion of women in the full-professor ranks ranges from a low of 14 percent in the dental school, 16 percent in the medical school Quad (excluding the faculty in the affiliated hospitals), and 17 percent at the law school, to highs of 22 percent in public health, 36 percent in divinity, and 37 percent in education (where Singer herself is Conant professor of education).
The population of minority faculty members remains small, with Asian/Pacific Islanders accounting for 168 ladder positions (and accounting for two-thirds of the growth in the past six years), and black, Latino, and Native American professors as a whole holding just 90 positions, representing, respectively, 3 percent, 3 percent, and 0.2 percent of the University faculty overall.
The report notes that in the University’s faculty ranks, the number of women has risen by 55 (or 16 percent) during the past six years. The number of black faculty members has risen by just five since 2003-2004, and is in fact down by two compared to last year. From 2003-2004 to the current year, the share of junior-faculty appointments held by women has risen from 34 percent to 36 percent, while the proportion of senior-faculty appointments has risen by 3 points, to 21 percent.
In the current economic circumstances – with new hiring slowed significantly in FAS, the largest faculty (about 47 percent of the University total), and retirement incentives looming for senior professors – the most significant changes in the future composition of the faculty may, ironically, come from shrinkage, rather than continued growth. Given the proportionally higher representation of women among the junior professors, retirements among a faculty skewed toward the senior ranks would tend to make the professoriate more diverse, all other factors held equal. Given the very limited number of black and Native American junior professors, the effect of retirements on further diversifying the faculty among these underrepresented groups would be negligible.
11/10/09 Daily Princetonian: Few minorities among University’s senior ranks: Only African-American senior administrator set to retire in June,
By Henry Rome
When Vice President for Campus Life Janet Dickerson retires in June, the University will lose a devoted and caring administrator, President Tilghman and students told The Daily Princetonian last month. But the University will also lose the only African-American member among its senior administrators.
The University began a concerted effort to increase faculty and staff diversity five years ago. Still, the senior administration – the 25 highest-ranking officials in charge of University governance – has far less minority representation than the student body, and less than the senior administrations at several peer institutions, including Harvard, Dartmouth and Cornell.
Minorities make up 8 percent of the members of Princeton’s senior administration, which includes officials from Tilghman and the senior deans to the vice presidents and the University librarian, according to the University Governance website. For the student body, that number is 32 percent.
In 2004, the University set out to examine this question, establishing the Diversity Working Group to look at diversity issues among employees, including senior administrators. At the time, Dickerson was the only minority who was a senior administrator.
Now there are two: Nilufer Shroff, who is of Indian descent, was named the University’s first chief audit and compliance officer in 2007. The rest of the senior administrators are white.
Among peers, U. lags behind
Princeton lags behind many of its peer and neighboring institutions when it comes to diversity among senior administrative officials, according to data obtained by the Princetonian from Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Cornell, Duke and The College of New Jersey.
Princeton trails behind all of those schools except Yale, which has no minority members among its senior administration of eight university officers and 14 deans, Yale President Richard Levin said in an e-mail to the Princetonian.
The gap between Princeton and most of the other schools is modest: Princeton’s 8 percent compares with Cornell’s and Duke’s’ 11 percent and Dartmouth’s 12 percent. But 15 percent of Harvard’s officers, deans and vice presidents are minorities, and the diversity among the senior administration at The College of New Jersey is 18 percent.
Dickerson noted, however, that universities define “senior administration” in different ways. She instead emphasized the “steady progress” the University has made in diversifying the roughly 250 members who make up a broader swath of administrators, called the “executive, administrative and managerial” positions.
In 2004, 8.3 percent of people in those positions were ethnic minorities, while the median among the University’s peer institutions was 11.4 percent, according to statistics provided by the University. In 2008, that number at Princeton grew to 13 percent, closing in on a median among peer institutions that rose to 14 percent that year.
University spokeswoman Cass Cliatt defined these peer institutions as “other highly selective institutions, including those on the upper East Coast, on the West Coast and in the Midwest,” she said in an e-mail.
The University’s progress in closing the gap between its minority representation and its peers was a step in the right direction, Dickerson said.
7/25/02 Associated Press: “UNM Names New Dean for Fine Arts College Albuquerque”
James Moy has been named dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico.
UNM officials said Moy will take on his new duties beginning Jan. 2.
Moy has served as chairman of the department of theater and drama at the University of Wisconsin in Madison since 1998. He has been a member of the faculty there since 1981.
He also has taught at the University of Texas at Austin, Northwestern University and the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Moy’s recent work focuses on representations of race in America, according to a UNM news release. His book credits include “Marginal Sights: Staging the Chinese in America” and “Reviewing Asian America: Locating Diversity.”
5/31/02 The Daily Northwestern: “NU hires 10 black profs. Total of 16 minorities to join faculty in Fall Quarter, provost says,”
Northwestern had a banner year in minority faculty hiring, with 10 black, three Latino and three Asian-American professors set to start in the fall.
Provost Lawrence Dumas’ announcement on Wednesday caps off months of increased emphasis on minority recruitment and a $1 million pledge to support the effort after a report released in September criticized the number of minority faculty at NU.
The large addition of black professors is especially noteworthy considering NU’s recent hiring history. In the past 15 years, the percentage of black professors has increased by slightly more than half, from about 1.2% in 1986 to 1.9% in 2000, according to NU’s data books.
That growth is dwarfed by other minorities: The percentage of Asian Americans in NU’s faculty has tripled from 3.7% to 9.7%, while the percentage of Latinos has quadrupled from 0.5% to 2.1%. Latinos overtook black
professors as the second-largest minority in NU’s faculty in 1999.
5/31/02 Sacramento Bee: “Jury rejects race as factor in UC Davis scientists case,”
A jury in Sacramento federal court on Thursday rejected the claims of two Chinese American scientists that they have been subjected to racial discrimination at the University of California, Davis.
A jury of five men and five women found that race was not a factor when the research laboratory of Ronald Chuang and his wife, Linda Chuang, also a researcher, was relocated in 1996.
Similarly, the jury found that race played no part in Ronald Chuang’s failure to secure full-time employment status at the university.
Ronald Chuang, a professor in the department of pharmacology of the UCD School of Medicine, is an internationally known AIDS researcher.
The couple claimed their lab was moved to inadequate quarters, disrupting work on a $1.7 million federally funded project.
Ronald Chuang further claimed he was passed over for a promised appointment to a tenured position.
School of Medicine administrators countered that Ronald Chuang had made no formal application for a tenured post, and the space occupied by the couple’s lab was needed for a genetics research program.
U.S. District Judge David F. Levi initially dismissed the Chuangs’ 1997 lawsuit, but the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it in 2000. The appellate court found that racial comments alleged by the couple cast enough doubt on the school’s explanation of its actions to warrant a trial.
“The fact they are Chinese had nothing to do with any of the decisions that were made by the medical school dean and his staff,” said Nancy Sheehan, attorney for the university.
5/1/02 The Amherst Student: “Chemistry hires new professor with tenure,”
The chemistry department recently hired Helen Leung to fill the position vacated by Assistant Professor of Chemistry David Padowitz when he left Amherst last year after being passed over for tenure. Upon being hired,
Leung was immediately granted a tenured position as a full professor.
Leung is currently an associate professor at Mount Holyoke College. The last professor to be hired by the College as a fully tenured professor was Professor of Political Science Uday Mehta, who was hired in 2000.
An acclaimed researcher in the field of physical chemistry, Leungs expertise is in small molecule gas spectroscopy. She is the author of many journal articles, some of which she co-authored with her undergraduate students.
“Professor Leung is a physical chemist whose work has won her national recognition, whose creative and innovative teaching has earned her accolades from faculty and students, and who is just a tremendously
wonderful human being,” said Professor of Chemistry Patricia OHara, the chair of the department. “We count ourselves incredibly lucky to have her join our department.”
Currently, Leungs research work is being funded both by the National Science Foundation and the Dreyfus Foundation, both highly reputed organizations. Members of the Colleges student advisory group, headed by
Philip Chau 02, interviewed Leung and recommended her as the top candidate in the applicant pool.
Born in Hong Kong, Leung received her undergraduate degree from California State University (CSU) at Northridge in 1983, where she majored in biology and chemistry. She received her Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Harvard University, where she studied under renowned chemist William Klemperer. She completed a year of postdoctoral work at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, before gaining professorship at
Williams College, and then ultimately moving on to Mount Holyoke in recent years. She is the wife of Professor of Chemistry Mark Marshall.
4/22/02 Associated Press: “U. of Nevada Hires Broadcaster Joann Lee as New Journalism School Dean,”
Reno, Nev. – Joann Lee, an experienced broadcast journalist directing the journalism program at a college in New York City, was hired Thursday as new dean of the University of Nevada’s journalism school.
Lee, currently at Queens College City University, was the first Asian American hired for on-air television news in Sacramento, at KXTV. She also has worked at stations in Chicago and Philadelphia as well as CNN’s New
She will succeed William Slater as the new dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno. Slater left the university earlier this month to become dean of the College of Communications at
Texas Christian University.
Born in Hong Kong, Lee grew up in New York City on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She attended Columbia University and the City College of New York. She is the author of “Asian Americans,” “Asian American Actors,” and a novel, “Virtual Escape.”
4/15/02 Associated Press: “Princeton Adds Author Chang-Rae Lee to Its Faculty,”
Princeton University added award-winning Korean-American author Chang-rae Lee to its faculty Saturday. The board of trustees appointed Lee to Princeton’s Humanities Council and creative writing program. The
appointment takes effect July 1.
Lee, 36, joins acclaimed authors including Toni Morrison and Joyce Carol Oates at Princeton.
“It’s not about prestige,” Lee said in a phone interview Saturday. “It really is about artistic possibility and inspiration for me. I almost feel as though I’m in a situation that’s close to what a Princeton student might feel, who wants to work with these writers.”
Lee first caught the publishing world’s attention in 1995 with his debut novel “Native Speaker,” which won the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and the American Book Award.
The book is narrated by a young New Yorker who works for a private intelligence agency and has been assigned to spy on a Korean-American councilman.
Lee followed with another novel, “A Gesture Life,” the story of an elderly medic who remembers treating Korean “comfort women” during World War II. That book won awards including the Anisfeld-Wolf Prize in Fiction and the Asian-American Literary Award.
Professor Paul Muldoon, director of the creative writing program, described Lee as “a great writer, a great teacher and, as luck would have it, a great person.”
“The program has been arguably the best in the country,” Muldoon said in a prepared statement. “With the arrival of Chang-rae Lee, it is unarguably the best in the country.”
Lee’s writings explore themes of identity, belonging and assimilation. His family moved to the United States from Korea when he was 3, settling in Westchester, New York.
He is finishing his third novel, which could be out early next year.
Before becoming a writer, Lee worked as an equities analyst on Wall Street. He received a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Oregon in 1993, and stayed on as a faculty member.
In 1998, he became the director of MFA Program in Creative Writing at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He was an Old Dominion Fellow of the Humanities Council at Princeton last fall.
“I’m not a teacher who also writes books. I’m a writer who talks about his work, his craft and his ideas about language,” Lee said. “That’s the only way you can learn from someone who’s a practicing artist.”
4/17/02 Daily California (Berkeley): “Number of Minority Hires Remains Low At UC Berkeley: Proposition 209 May Be Partly Responsible,”
The number of minority faculty hired by UC Berkeley continues to remain low, a lingering effect of Proposition 209’s passage in 1996, according to some professors. Currently, minority ladder-rank faculty, who are either already tenured or on the tenure track, make up 16% of the university’s overall faculty.
Out of the 64 faculty hires in the 2001-02 academic year, 11 were Asian American and one was Latino. Percentages of underrepresented minorities – blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans – show a steep drop in faculty hires.
In the five years before Prop. 209, underrepresented minorities constituted 11% of faculty hires. Five years later, the figure decreased by 7%, according to a 2000 report of the chancellor’s advisory committee on diversity.
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Jan de Vries pointed to the low numbers as merely a continuation of the lack of minority faculty hires even before the passage of Prop. 209. “It never was good, and it isn’t good now,” he said.
Statistics show UC Berkeley has hired an average of five underrepresented minority faculty members in ladder-rank positions per year in the past 10 years.
4/3/02 The Dartmouth: “Minority faculty face unique challenges in obtaining tenure: Though Dartmouth ranks well among research institutions, College fares poorly with some minority groups.”
While Dartmouth compares favorably with its peer institutions, only 44 of the arts and science faculty’s 355 members — or 12.4% — are minorities. Among the 265 professors who hold tenure, only 19 — or 7.1% — are non-white.
Some say the College offers inadequate mentoring for junior faculty of color, a failure that, these critics argue, leads to intellectual isolation. “As far as I know, I could be the only tenured Asian humanist on campus,” Chinese professor Hua-yuan Mowry said, who has been at the College since 1975. “Who do I discuss my work with?”
Faculty of color may face special barriers because many are hired into programs such as African and African-American studies, Asian and Middle Eastern studies and Native American studies that are inter-disciplinary in their approach. Tenure decisions, however, are made by departments whose members often judge a candidate’s scholarship from the perspective of one particular discipline and are sometimes unsure of how to evaluate
While Dartmouth does compare favorably with its peer institutions when it comes to black faculty, strikingly few Asian professors — a minority group that is well-represented at most institutions of higher education — hold tenured jobs at the College. Indeed, only four Asian faculty members held tenure as of last year, compared with a comparatively higher number of nine blacks and six Hispanics.
Mowry attributed the under-representation of tenured Asian faculty to an unsupportive environment that causes high attrition rates. “Culturally, it’s a very difficult place,” she said. “Sympathetic understanding from your faculty and deans is very important, and I feel that’s lacking.” Harris agreed that the College has to work hard to recruit and retain more faculty from Asian backgrounds.
“I think that’s one of the main issues for us,” he said.
Excerpts from Harvard Magazine, March/April ’02, “Faculty Diversity,” by Cathy A. Trower, senior research associate, and Richard P. Chait, director of the Project on Faculty Appointments at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Chait is also professor of higher education. (http://www.harvard-magazine.com/on-line/030218.html)
Colleges in general are now far more diverse than three decades ago. In 1971, 42% of undergraduates were women, versus 56% in 2001; 8.4% were African Americans, now 11%; and 2.8% were Hispanic, now 8%. In 1976, 1.8% of college enrollees were Asian Americans; now the number stands at 6%.
Despite 30 years of affirmative action, and contrary to public perceptions, the American faculty profile, especially at preeminent universities, remains largely white and largely male.
Women currently represent 36% of full-time faculty compared to 23% in the early 1970s. Although this represents a very substantial gain nationwide, women constitute only 25% of the full-time faculty at research universities, versus 10%
in 1970. Faculty of color remain a very small part of the professoriate. (Whites constituted 95% of all faculty members in 1972 and 83% in 1997.) Most of the growth in minority participation has been by Asian Americans, from 2.2% in 1975 to 4.5% in 1997. The percentage of African-American faculty members at all levels has been remarkably stagnant–4.4% in 1975 and 5% in 1997–and almost half of all black faculty teach at historically black colleges. The increase in Hispanic faculty has also been slow: from 1.4% in 1975 to 2.8% in 1997.
Minorities earned 16% of the master’s degrees and 18.6% of the doctorates in 2000. Whites accounted for 79.3% of all earned doctorates in 2000, followed by Asians at 7.8%; other minority groups combined accounted for 10.8%. Blacks were most represented in education (12.4%)–and were underrepresented in most arts and sciences fields–while Asians earned 17.5% of engineering doctorates.
Still, the relative scarcity of persons of color with doctorates does not entirely explain the lack of progress for minority faculty. The number of minority faculty increased considerably between 1983 and 1993–by 44%. But the percentage increase was much less dramatic–from 9.3% to 12.2%, mostly attributable to gains by Asian Americans.
1/29/02 The Dartmouth: “Students demand Asian Am. studies,”
Shirley Lin ’02, Morna Ha ’04 and Derrick Chu ’04 are leading the charge for an Asian American Studies program at Dartmouth. “A lot of people are under the impression that Asian American Studies is the same thing as Asian Studies.
That’s one of the stereotypes we’re trying to combat, the concept that Asian Americans are perpetual foreigners,” Chu said. The Class of 2005 has the largest number of Asian and Asian-American students in Dartmouth history.
Currently, there are two courses dealing specifically with Asian American issues in the history department and two in the English department. At Columbia, Brown, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania, students can already opt to major in Asian American studies.
11/28/01 The Daily Northwestern: “Growing concerns on hiring of Asians: Recent diversity report omits data on Asian faculty, prompts criticism of NU hiring policies,”
The provost’s office this month pledged $1 million to diversify Northwestern’s faculty after a report released in April showed low numbers of black, Latino and women faculty members.
But the report did not include Asian-American faculty members because, officials said, their numbers have not decreased in recent years, unlike the numbers of blacks and Latinos.
“The committee explicitly acknowledged that diversity is many-faceted but felt that it was appropriate and necessary to concentrate on (blacks, Latinos) and, in some fields, women,” said John Margolis, associate provost for faculty affairs.
But some Asian Americans at NU say the university still needs more Asian-American faculty members. Stereotypes regarding Asian Americans, as well as a lack of active recruitment of doctoral students, hamper the hiring of qualified candidates, faculty and staff said.
“The perception is you have one (Asian-American professor in a department) and it’s taken care of,” said English Prof. Dorothy Wang, one of two professors in the Asian-American studies program. “For the diversity report to erase the presence of Asian Americans is a grave oversight.”
By the numbers
One often overlooked problem is the disparity between numbers of Asian-American faculty in the natural sciences and the humanities, Wang said.
Asian Americans make up 15.8% of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences faculty, compared to 6.5% of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences faculty, according to 1999 statistics released by NU’s Office of Administration and Planning. And there is only one Asian-American professor each in the English and history departments.
Although the Office of Administration and Planning’s report says the School of Education and Social Policy has no Asian-American faculty, Education Assistant to the Dean Annie Kerins said the school has since hired one Asian-American adjunct lecturer.
“At NU, as at almost all universities, Asians and Asian Americans taken together are probably more strongly represented in the sciences than humanities and social sciences,” Weinberg Dean Eric Sundquist said.
Overall, the number of Asian-American faculty members is greater than the number of blacks or Latinos. Asian Americans make up 8.5% of NU’s faculty, while blacks account for 2.1% and Latinos 2.2%.
Graduate School Dean Richard Morimoto, a member of the Faculty Diversity Committee, said NU already is taking steps to increase the number of Asian- American professors in the humanities. He pointed to the recent hiring of Wang and history Prof. Ji-Yeon Yuh, both in April 1999. They were the pioneer faculty members of the new Asian-American studies department, which was created when the Asian-American studies minor launched Winter Quarter. NU officials have said they hope to hire a third Asian-American studies professor by Fall
Lack of tracking
But Morimoto said universities face a major challenge in recruiting Asian- American faculty. Although black and Latino doctoral candidates often are tracked throughout their doctoral academic careers, potential Asian-American candidates often are not watched, Morimoto said. “Information just isn’t available, in part because Asian Americans have fit into the part of mainstream academic society,” he said.
But interim Asian and Asian-American Student Services Coordinator Tedd Vanadilok said Asian Americans have difficulty getting jobs at universities because they are viewed neither as part of the mainstream nor as
underprivileged minorities. “The ‘old boys’ network’ and the glass ceiling exist because people like to work with people similar to them,” Vanadilok said. “If these people are white males, they’re going to hire people similar to them, and that’s not going to be an Asian-American male or female.”
According to 1999 government statistics given by Margolis, 4% of all social science doctoral graduates and 3% of all humanities graduates were Asian Americans. In contrast, 6% of physical sciences graduates and 11% of
engineering graduates were Asian Americans.
Morimoto said many of the Asian-American doctoral students in social sciences and humanities study subjects related to Asian-American studies. But NU should hire Asian-American faculty across a range of academic interests, he said. “There’s no reason that an Asian-American professor shouldn’t be able to teach Italian or 18th century literature,” Morimoto said. “Part of it is there are fewer scholars in the pipeline as related to Asian-American studies.”
Despite the absence of Asian-American faculty in the diversity report, Margolis said the provost’s office would welcome any initiatives to hire faculty. “The provost has made it clear to deans, department chairs and members of search committees that the central administration is committed to achieving a greater
diversity on the faculty,” he said. “I am sure the Provost would take a very keen interest in initiatives by departments where other groups are underrepresented.”
Wang said hiring more Asian-American faculty members is difficult because of the perception that Asian Americans are model minorities or “honorary whites.”
Vanadilok agreed with her. “When they do say minorities, Asian Americans are often left off,” he said. “There’s a stereotype that they’re all well off and don’t need help like affirmative action.”
Asian American Advisory Board Chair Marie Claire Tran said Asian-American students might be more inclined to pursue academic careers if they saw more professors of their ethnicity.
“Sometimes we need role models to look up to or at least to give us advice,” said Tran, a Weinberg senior. “If more people saw Asian-American professors, maybe they would be more inclined to say, ‘Maybe I could try that.'”
4/20/01 The Daily Northwestern: “NU creates Asian-American post Coordinator to work with student groups, promote diversity,”
Northwestern will hire an Asian-American Outreach Coordinator this fall to work with Asian-American student
groups, professors and students. Asian-American students, who compose 18% of NU’s student population, have been seeking an outreach coordinator since 1991. The position was one of the demands listed when students went on a 23 day hunger strike in the spring of 1995 to lobby administrators for an Asian-American studies program. The coordinator also will help Asian-American student groups plan events to improve groups’ programming and ensure that events don’t overlap. He or she also will create a link between Asian-American
studies professors and students to build stronger student interest in classes. The Asian-American studies program began in 1999 with two assistant professors: Dorothy Wang, in English and Ji-Yeon Yuh in history.
4/19/01 Tufts newspaper: “Harvard hires Sugata Bose, Tufts’ South Asian center founder,”
Professor Sugata Bose, highly regarded for implementing Tufts’ program in South Asian studies, will be leaving Tufts at the end of this semester to accept an endowed chair at Harvard. Bose said he hopes to build a South Asian studies curriculum at Harvard modeled after the Tufts program. Bose will be the first South-Asian
historian to fill Harvard’s Gardiner Chair in Oceanic History and Affairs – a position which has remained unoccupied for over two decades. Bose was given a fully tenured professorship. “Harvard does not have a South Asian center – it has more of a focus on East Asia and the Middle East,” Bose said.
4/16/01 Yale Daily News: “Law School tenures first minority female professor,”
The Yale Law School appointed Amy Chua to a tenured position. Chua, whose work focuses on international development in Asia, will be the first woman of color to become a tenured non-clinical faculty member at the law school. Chua’s main areas of focus include development, markets, and democracy in developing countries, particularly in Asia. Chua will be the Law School’s first female minority tenured professor.
April 13-19, 2001 AsianWeek.com: APAHE Goes National: Coalition addresses myriad of issues. In 1998 API faculty comprised 9% of the University of California at Berkeley faculty, while API students were 39.4% of the population, according to a recent report to Berkeleys Chancellor Robert Berdahl entitled “Asian Pacific
Americans at Berkeley: Visibility and Marginality.” Over 400 professors, staff and students from across the country attended the first national Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE) conference, held at the Miyako Hotel in San Francisco April 6-8, 2001. Gene Awakani is an APAHE co-president. The keynote speaker was Bob Suzuki, president of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
APIs make up 5% of the national faculty, but less than 2% of its administrators. At last years conference, APAHE led Asian American communities in demanding freedom and justice for Dr. Wen Ho Lee, who was branded a spy for China and later exonerated by a federal judge. The group organized a boycott by urging all
Asian American college graduates not to apply for jobs at the national laboratories operated by the U.S. Department of Energy as long as Lee was held without a trial.
Next years conference will be held in New York, and a proposal for a research center focusing specifically on Asian Americans in higher education at UCLA is on the table.
3/26/01 Yale Daily News, “Defining diversity down: the job left undone,”
Yale College will have no minority masters next year and the University has hired embarrassingly few women, black, Asian, or Hispanic professors in the last four years.
In the last four years, the proportion of women on the ladder faculty — including assistant, associate and full professors and Gibbs instructors — has increased a paltry 2.1%; black faculty 0.3%; Asian faculty 1.5%; and
Hispanic faculty a woeful 0.2%. In the last year, three vacancies in residential college masterships were created and filled by ladder faculty — all white, all male. The departure of Davenport College Master Gerald Thomas next year will leave the University with no college masters of an underrepresented minority and only three women.
Of the 1,604 ladder faculty at Yale in 2000-2001, 25.8% were women, 2.8% black, 8.2% Asian and 1.9% Hispanic.
3/1/01 Yale Daily News: “Data show faculty is slow to diversify Number of women and minorities creeps upward,”: University figures describing the makeup of the faculty show that at the beginning of the 2000-2001 academic year, Yale had 1,604 ladder faculty, which includes assistant, associate and full professors, and Gibbs instructors. Of those, 25.8% were women, 2.8% black, 8.2% Asian and 1.9% Hispanic.