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Smiling Faces, Colored Spaces

Smiling Faces, Colored Spaces - Urban Rev(2009 41:312333...

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Smiling Faces and Colored Spaces: The Experiences of Faculty of Color Pursing tenure in the Academy Gregory A. Diggs Æ Dorothy F. Garrison-Wade Æ Diane Estrada Æ Rene Galindo Published online: 24 January 2009 Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009 Abstract Through a comprehensive literature review, this article identifies and discusses barriers to recruitment and retention of faculty of color. Marginalization, racism and sexism manifested as unintended barriers are presented as a few of the barriers faculty of color face in successfully navigating the tenure process. Informed by this literature review, we conducted a self-study that presents the experiences of four faculty of color navigating the tenure process in a predominately white Research Institution. The purpose of this study was to share the experiences of three junior faculty of color as they navigate the tenure process, and one tenured faculty of color who is informally mentoring them through the process. This article high- lights the findings of one component of a broader study: focus group discussions about how diversity efforts and activities are subsequently evidenced in teaching, research agendas and service. Four themes are presented: Academic Identity; Confronting Diversity, Mentoring, and Safe Spaces. A discussion of the conse- quences of these findings on faculty of color retention and recruitment is included. Recommendations are made to other predominately white institutions on how to address issues facing faculty of color. Keywords Faculty of color Á Academic identity Á Faculty mentoring Á Cultural dissonance Á Critical race theory ‘‘Smiling faces, smiling faces, sometimes (they don’t tell the truth) .’’ The O’Jays Attending to issues related to diversity has become increasingly important in higher education because larger proportions of American workers attend colleges G. A. Diggs ( & ) Á D. F. Garrison-Wade Á D. Estrada Á R. Galindo University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, PO Box 173364, Campus Box 106, Denver, CO 80217-3364, USA e-mail: [email protected] 123 Urban Rev (2009) 41:312–333 DOI 10.1007/s11256-008-0113-y
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and universities at some point in their career. In addition, Schools of Education prepare teachers, administrators, school counselors and a broad array of profes- sionals in human service fields to work with increasingly diverse populations of students and clients. Recruiting and retaining faculty of color are critical processes in order to achieve these efforts. Recruiting and retaining faculty of color has been and continues to be a challenge for many institutions. As recently as the year 2000, 5.1% of full time faculty members in the United States were Asian-American; 5% were African- American; 2.4% were Hispanic and 0.4% were American Indian (Turner 2000 ).
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