I am writing this letter in response to The Setonian article regarding the lack of racial diversity among the full-time faculty Seton Hall University, not shocking or surprising. Found in several marketing promotions is mention of a racially diverse student population, but noticeably absent is full-time faculty; we know now given the recent coverage.
Although, I have met numerous students of racially diverse backgrounds, I in good faith cannot say the same about the full-time faculty. A common critique of the University among students, especially with minority students, we can count on one hand the number of professors that have been people of color, if any. A joke for a few and a harsh reality for countless others.
Faculty members play an instrumental role in directly influencing the lives of students as they solidify their beliefs, often lasting a lifetime. It is not to cast aspersions on current full-time faculty; some students simply want to increase racial diversity among them.
While a number of people would applaud the University in recognizing the problem, I will withhold mine until I witness clear results. I need them to move further and take aggressive action.
I would like the University to take several steps. First, they need to address the issue to all members of the community; an email is not sufficient. Second, the University needs to set a timeline with a detailed outline of a solution resulting in increased racial diversity among full-time faculty. Third, within a year’s time there needs to be a substantial update on the issue.
Seton Hall is not the only college grappling with the lack of racial diversity among faculty. The country itself struggles to address the systemic oppression of African-Americans, historically, and contemporarily, people of color. There are plenty of highly qualified candidates who are people of color, give them an opportunity.
Furthermore, if the University fails in resolving this issue, it plays into a trope that minority student concerns (there are numerous) need not to raise them for there is no resolution. In countering that perception with direct action and delivering positive results, the university displays their commitment to racial diversity.
However, I will not hide my concerns to make others feel comfortable. Do the right thing.
History and Economics Major
Seton Hall Class of 2018