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John Harvard's Journal

Gender and Minority Metrics

November-December 2007

The report from the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity published this summer also contains the third annual accounting of gender and ethnic diversity among Harvard’s faculty.

Women constitute less than a third of tenure-track faculty in six of the 13 faculty populations studied, but in two groups—the social sciences division within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and the law school—surpassed 50 percent. Among tenured faculty, women still constitute less than a quarter in 10 of the 13 groups—no change from the 2006 report.

Minority tenured professors make up less than 15 percent of all tenured faculty in all but two faculty populations, the business and design schools—again, no change from the previous year. The tenure-track “pipeline” showed modest gains for minority faculty, with FAS social sciences and the business school reaching the 25-percent mark, and FAS natural sciences and the schools of government, education, and public health staying above it.

Some news reports skewered Harvard for failing to make more progress on diversity in hiring. Evelynn M. Hammonds, senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity and Rosenkrantz professor of the history of science and of African and African American studies, called those reports “disappointing” and overly simplistic in their failure to recognize the time it takes to recruit faculty members and shepherd them through the hiring process. “No one would expect to see dramatic progress in two years,” Hammonds said. “But every year we ought to see progress, and I think we did….We are certainly moving in the right direction, and that’s important.”