Kudos for 42% Increase

The University of Houston’s accomplishments in faculty diversity have been spotlighted in the media recently, with appreciative articles in both The Chronicle of Higher Education and INSIGHT into Diversity.

UH Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Paula Myrick Short was singled out for “achieving remarkable success in the hiring and promotion of diverse faculty,” according to INSIGHT. The publication reported that, from 2014 to 2019, the number of ethnically and racially underrepresented faculty who are tenured or tenure- tracked increased by nearly 42 percent. Specifically, Black women in that category increased 117%, Hispanic women increased 44%. Hispanic men 27% and women 26%.

Much of this progress was attributed to the efforts of the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success, launched under Short’s leadership and funded by a $3.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The CENTER’s effectiveness was also cited in the Chronicle for Higher Education article, headlined “Diversity Without Dollars.” Erika J. Henderson, the associate provost for faculty recruitment, retention, equity, and diversity, is applauded for her contributions, which included setting up many

of the CENTER’s proactive operational procedures, including the establishment of the Underrepresented Women of Color Coalition as a support group.

“While wealthier, more prestigious institutions, including Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania, have made widely publicized diversity investments on the order of $140-million and more,” the article observes, UH has made great strides on a relatively shoestring budget.