Though increasing, the percentage of Yale minority faculty lags behind the student body. BY NOAH GENTELE
n 1876, after six years in residence at Yale, Edward Bouchet became the first African-American in the United States to earn a Ph.D. In 2002, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Bouchet’s graduation from Yale College, Dean Peter Salovey presented the first Edward Bouchet Leadership Award, a national award given to leaders in academia who h+ave played a critical role in diversifying higher education. Before presenting the first award, Salovey remarked that Bouchet was a man “who pushed his institution, and indeed this nation, to recognize that African-American and other minority scholars were vital to the production of knowledge in the academy.” Yet in 2002, only five African-American men and one African-American woman stood among the 365 tenured members of Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Today, the numbers have improved slightly, if not radically. Nine African-Americans hold tenured positions within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Altogether, though, only 41 tenured Yale College professors—10.5 percent of the tenured ranks of FAS—self-identify as members of an ethnic minority. That proportion stands in stark contrast to the undergraduate student body: For at least the past 15 years, almost half of Yale College’s entering class each year has been minority or international students.