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      Retention of Underrepresented Minority Faculty: Strategic Initiatives for Institutional Value Proposition Based on Perspectives from a Range of Academic Institutions.

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          Abstract

          The student and faculty make-up of academic institutions does not represent national demographics. Racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately underrepresented nationally, and particularly at predominantly white institutions (PWIs). Although significant efforts and funding have been committed to increasing points of access or recruitment of under-represented minority (URM) students and faculty at PWIs, these individuals have not been recruited and retained at rates that reflect their national proportions. Underrepresentation of URMs is particularly prevalent in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. This reality represents a national crisis given a predicted shortage of workers in STEM disciplines based on current rates of training of all individuals, majority and URM, and the intersection of this limitation with persistent challenges in the recruitment, training, retention and advancement of URMs who will soon represent the largest pool of future trainees. An additional compounding factor is the increasingly disproportionate underrepresentation of minorities at higher professorial and administrative ranks, thus limiting the pool of potential mentors who are correlated with successful shepherding of URM students through STEM training and development. We address issues related to improving recruitment and retention of URM faculty that are applicable across a range of academic institutions. We describe challenges with recruitment and retention of URM faculty and their advancement through promotion in the faculty ranks and into leadership positions. We offer specific recommendations, including identifying environmental barriers to diversity and implementing strategies for their amelioration, promoting effective and innovative mentoring, and addressing leadership issues related to constructive change for promoting diversity.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Undergrad Neurosci Educ
          Journal of undergraduate neuroscience education : JUNE : a publication of FUN, Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
          1544-2896
          1544-2896
          2015
          : 13
          : 3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Biology, School of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland 21251;
          [2 ] MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824;
          [3 ] Biology Department, School of Math Science and Engineering, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas 78209.
          Article
          4521729
          26240521

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