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New Study: Gender Matters on Black College Campuses

New Study: Gender Matters on Black College Campuses

Female faculty at public historically Black colleges seem to fare better in terms of ratings, salaries and tenure  when the president or chief academic officer is also female, according to a recent study by the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. This was just one of many findings in the study, which examines the role that gender issues play in the success rates of students and faculty at public HBCUs.

Funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation, “Understanding Gender at Public Historically Black Colleges and Universities” details how gender impacts the faculty  experience as well as student recruitment, retention, achievement and graduation. It is the first study of its kind focusing exclusively on public HBCUs.

According to the study, the majority of students enrolled at TMSF’s 45 public HBCUs are female (63 percent), but females hold a minority of the faculty positions at those institutions (45 percent). Average salary gaps between male and female faculty exist across all professorship ranks — full, associate and assistant.

“‘Understanding Gender’ underscores the need for heightened awareness of gender issues on campuses in order for the implications of the differences to be properly addressed,” says Dr. Carolyn Mahoney, president of historically Black Lincoln University.

The study also shows that 92 percent of students aren’t concerned with the gender of their professors, although 31 percent of Black male students prefer having a Black male teacher. In addition, the race of professors did not appear to be an issue for students in the survey, despite empirical evidence to the contrary.

The study can be viewed at

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