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Contact: Lisa Johnston
(404) 879-5544
Released: 10/17/2011

National Conference Focuses on Increasing Minority Faculty, Diversity in Higher Education

ATLANTA, Georgia — More than 1,000 doctoral students, faculty and education leaders from across the country will gather here Oct. 20-23 for the nation’s largest conference spotlighting the continuing shortage of minority faculty and the issues facing young minority faculty members.

Today, more than one-third of America’s college students are people of color. Yet only 5.5 percent of full-time faculty at U.S. public four-year institutions are black, 3.8 percent are Hispanic and about 1 percent are Native American. The 18th annual Compact for Faculty Diversity’s Institute on Teaching and Mentoring encourages and helps prepare minority students earning advanced degrees to become college and university professors. The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) is lead host for the event.

The conference will provide four days of leadership training, professional development, networking and job recruitment opportunities. Scholars served include Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic and Native American graduate students, as well as African-Americans.

Two additional events will be held in conjunction with the Institute. The Junior Faculty Professional Development Conference will give minority junior faculty practical guidance on earning tenure and other challenges they face early in their academic careers. The Sloan Directors Conference for directors of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Minority Ph.D. Program at various universities also is scheduled. All events are at the Atlanta Hilton.

Many scholars at the Institute are participants in the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, SREB’s award-winning initiative to encourage more minority doctoral students to pursue careers in higher education. Since it began in 1993, the program has provided fellowships and other assistance to more than 1,000 minority college students, more than 80 percent of whom now work in the field of education.

"Despite recent gains, the minority faculty shortage persists," said Ansley Abraham, the director of the SREB program. "The goal is that one day, America’s college faculty will reflect the nation’s population increases among people of color. We are taking minority faculty from being the exception to being the norm."

To learn more about the minority faculty shortage and the Institute, contact SREB Communications.

The Southern Regional Education Board, or SREB, based in Atlanta, was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. For more information, see www.sreb.org.

Southern Regional Education Board
592 10th Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30318-5776
(404) 875-9211

For additional information, please e-mail communications@sreb.org