Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Faculty Disappointments

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Faculty Disappointments

Article excerpt

In his more than twenty-five years as an applied physics professor at Stanford University, Dr. Arthur Walker says one of his greatest career frustrations is that he has yet to produce an African American doctoral physicist in his area of specialization.

He explains that while Stanford has had more success producing Black physicists than many of its peer institutions, and the university's administration has been very amenable to the cause, the numbers of African American graduate students in his field has actually declined. This, he adds, ultimately has a negative affect on faculty recruitment as well.

"I am the only Black [full] professor in all six of our science departments, out of 180 faculty members," Walker says.

Three years ago, his colleague, Dr. Clay Bates, another physicist, left Stanford for a position at Howard University. One of the reasons Bates says he left was to improve the pace at which he might develop Black scientists.

Walker has observed that in recent years, the commitment of some of his faculty colleagues to recruiting and retaining African American students seems to have waned. …

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