CCAC Hopes to Attract More Minority Faculty Members, Students

Article excerpt

The Community College of Allegheny County is working to bring more people of color to its campuses, both in teaching roles and as students.

College president Alex Johnson said the goal is to increase minority faculty from about 13 percent to 18 percent by 2015, and the minority student body from 23 percent to 27 percent. Census figures show minorities make up about 17 percent of the county's population.

"We just want to be sure that we're including a more diverse mixture of cultures and experience," said CCAC Trustee Mona N. Generett, who chairs the board's human resources and diversity and equity committee.

Johnson said the college is revising its hiring process to account for expanded and "more inclusive application pools" that can lead to more minority hires. He wants to increase minority faculty by four positions each year, or 1.5 percent of the entire faculty, starting in fall of 2011-12.

"We'd like to have a faculty that is both diverse and the best qualified," said Johnson, who was chancellor of Delgado Community College in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina before coming to CCAC. He said CCAC's plan, adopted last month, was developed to address priorities the board of trustees set after hiring him in March 2008.

Minority enrollment at all CCAC campuses was 17.6 percent in fall 1998. Today, 3,300 students, or 23 percent, are minorities. Yet, 12.8 percent of its 273-member, full-time faculty last fall were people of color. Twenty-two of CCAC's faculty members are black. Five are Hispanic and eight are Asian. The faculty includes 138 women and 135 men.

Bettering those numbers will mean setting up workshops, seminars, even commercial spots on TV and the Internet to recruit students. …