Glad to see that UT will form part of what is called the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities. This will hopefully help to diversify Alliance universities, including UT.
The professoriate lacks much to be desired. For instance, according to IPEDS, or Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (2021), the percentage of tenured Latina faculty in 2019, was just 1.5 percent among all the nation's tenured professors. Once one parses this out by rank, very few of us ever achieve full professor status.
I shouldn't be the rare bird that I am. Several years ago when UT-Austin produced its Faculty Gender Equity Report and the authors went about the university sharing their findings, they were asked why Latinas didn't appear in the report. The authors' answer was that Latinas weren’t included because we were “statistically insignificant.”
That answer might make sense if we lived in Maine or Alaska or some other far-away place where Latinos aren't found—although their numbers are growing there, as well—but for our university to be located in a state where Latinos predominate demographically—rendered that response both unacceptable and offensive in the minds of so many of us at the time.
Expressed differently, our underrepresentation is a reason to include us in any and all research—even if other methods must be used. I know no one reached out to me for an interview. Otherwise, no complete sense or portrayal of this problem can be derived except for those of us that live and experience it on a daily basis.
Fortunately, we now do have the "Hispanic Equity Report" at the University of Texas at Austin authored by members of the Independent Equity Committee, especially by UT History professor Dr. Alberto Martinez. I encourage all to view this October 13, 2020 webinar that delves into the findings of the report. It was co-sponsored by the Texas Center for Education Policy, National LULAC, the National Latino/a Education Research and Policy Project.
The statistic for Black women is similarly low at 3.1%. Their Cohort Sistas campaign to bring awareness, mentoring, and support to increase their representation in the academy strikes me as something that the Alliance could do, as well, albeit for all Latina/o/x Ph.Ds.
As we know from research on diversifying our colleges and universities, having a diverse faculty that look like the students they are trying to attract matters enormously.
I know that it did for me early on when I was making those decisions to pursue my bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. degrees.
From a policy and practice perspective, we need a dramatic change in focus and priorities if we are to budge these numbers. Best wishes to all of us in this Alliance because the need for equity in representation is immense and long overdue.