Like the student body, Ohio State’s faculty has a low representation of minorities, according to data from Ohio State’s Human Resources Office.
For the 2012 Fall Semester, about 77 percent of the total faculty – including teaching and non-teaching positions – are white, about 21 percent are racial minorities and 6 percent did not disclose its race or ethnicity, according to data from the OSU Human Resources’ website.
About 14.5 percent of the student body are minorities for Fall Semester, according to university data.
Aside from race and ethnicity, male faculty exceed females. Women only make up about 33 percent of the faculty population. This is lower than female students who made up about 49 percent of the student body Fall Semester, according to university data.
Valerie Lee, vice provost of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, said in an email the statistics on minorities working for OSU do not surprise her.
“Our data are part of a national crisis reflecting the need to more aggressively recruit a diverse faculty for 21st century student populations,” she said. “The disparity between how future student populations will look and how the professoriate will look will continue to increase without intentional intervention.”
The university will continue to build a culture of inclusion for students, staff and professors, Lee said.
“It will take multiple initiatives to address the shortage of an ethnically and racially diverse professoriate,” she said. “There is no easy solution. The academy is facing the challenge of trying to solve a problem that it and the larger society created decades ago when its doors were not open to all.”
Some faculty members are also committed to becoming more diversity within their own departments, such as Cynthia Selfe, an English professor.
Selfe said although the Department of English has a good representation of women, her department has a long way to go toward representing minorities.
“We need a great deal more attention in that area,” she said. “(However) we’re making great strides.”
She said she is part of a team working to recruit applicants for the English department.
“Our job is to find the best applicant in the world,” she said. “We want a diverse and vibrant faculty and that’s what we been aiming toward.”
Some students, like Sarah Weatherford, a first-year in athletic training, said they perceived the university as being diverse, although she has noticed that many of her professors are white.
“I would think at a bigger school you would have more diversity,” she said.
David Chinn, a third-year in business administration, said he thinks the faculty is sufficiently diverse, and said race and ethnicity should not matter in the hiring process.
“As long as they know the material and are able to communicate it (then) I don’t have a problem with it,” he said.
According to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data, 61.5 percent of the population in Columbus is white, 28 percent is African-American, 4.1 percent is Asian, 3.3 percent has two or more races and American Indians and Hawaiians make up less than 1 percent of the population.
Columbus also has a 51.2 percent female population.
As for Ohio, 82.7 percent of the population is white, 12.2 percent is African-American, 2.1 percent identifies with two or more races, 1.7 percent is Asian and American Indians and Hawaiians have less than 1 percent of the state population, according to Census data.
Lee said the university would continue its goals to become more diverse.
“We want to continue to take those steps that ensure the widest possible applicant pool,” she said.