Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Call to Tackle Lack of BME Scholars in Senior Roles

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Call to Tackle Lack of BME Scholars in Senior Roles

Article excerpt

A new paper aims to address "the stark under-representation of staff from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds at senior management levels" in British universities.

How Can We Make Not Break Black and Minority Ethnic Leaders in Higher Education? by Gurnam Singh and Josephine Kwhali - respectively principal lecturer and senior lecturer in social work at Coventry University - is published by the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education.

It is designed, says Dr Kwhali, as "a stimulus report" and "to incite to action particularly those power-brokers who may display the biggest blind spots".

The authors survey the facts about BME staffing levels and the experiences of BME staff.

They explore possible lessons from the United States, with its "106 historically black colleges and universities", traditions of "black leadership programmes" and "celebration of black achievement in higher education", while warning of the dangers of black academics being "held back because of moral obligations they feel towards writing about subjects of race and injustice".

And they urge universities to think critically about "generic and largely meaningless ethnic monitoring categories" and "not to rely on simply counting numbers of BME staff". …

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