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Chapter 13 African American Faculty in Science and Engineering: The Illusion of Inclusion

Beyond Stock Stories and Folktales: African Americans' Paths to STEM Fields

ISBN: 978-1-78052-168-8, eISBN: 978-1-78052-183-1

ISSN: 1479-3644

Publication date: 23 September 2011

Abstract

In a knowledge-based global economy driven by the sciences and engineering (S&E), the most valuable resources are human resources. Traditionally, the United States met shortages of S&E talent by importing it from abroad; however, this solution has been rendered no longer viable by geo-political changes coupled with other nations' successfully competing for S&E talent. The decrease in the availability of external S&E talent coupled with changing demographics of the US population overall have been the catalysts for shifting focus to developing internal talent – especially from groups that have historically under participated in the S&E workforces – African Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans/Native Pacific Islanders, and Puerto Ricans. It is important not to fall prey to the illusion of inclusion – that is to assume that the increases in the numbers of S&E degrees earned by African Americans are reflected in the composition of the S&E professoriate. The purpose of this chapter is to provide compelling arguments for increasing and enhancing African American participation on S&E faculties; systematically analyze differences by gender and broad field in the rates of participation of African Americans on science and engineering faculties of colleges and universities in the United States; and to discuss the implications of these differences for policy, programs, and practices that seek to enhance the participation of African Americans on S&E college and university faculties.

Citation

Leggon, C.B. (2011), "Chapter 13 African American Faculty in Science and Engineering: The Illusion of Inclusion", Frierson, H.T. and Tate, W.F. (Ed.) Beyond Stock Stories and Folktales: African Americans' Paths to STEM Fields (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 273-286. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3644(2011)0000011017

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited