Despite decades of pledging to hire more black faculty, most universities didn’t


Robert Palmer felt lucky. He got a job right out of grad school at Binghamton University in upstate New York, one of the largest schools in the State University of New York system.

“I was ecstatic,” he says. “But I knew it would probably be a cultural adjustment.”

He had just finished his Ph.D. in higher education administration at Morgan State University, a Historically Black College (HBCU) in Baltimore where more than 60 percent of faculty are black. Now he was going to work at a university where, as of 2016, only four percent of professors were African American like him. Within the college of Community and Public Affairs at Binghamton, where Palmer would be teaching, there was only one black tenured professor.

Faculty of color are underrepresented on most college…

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