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  • Continuing protests puts a spotlight on racial disparities in US universities
  • Posted By:
  • Karen W.
  • Posted On:
  • 17-Nov-2015
  • At Columbia based University of Missouri, racism is pretty obvious causing a lot of concern. Both the President of the system and the chancellor of the campus resigned following the highlighting of racial disparities on American university campus.

    A group called Concerned Student 1950 was formed by hugely dissatisfied students. Protestors claim that there was little or no response from the administrators to the targeting and racial slurs of African-American students in several unfortunate incidents. 1950, the year was include in the name of the group in reference to the first year the university admitted its first black student.

    Starting with a hunger strike by a graduate student, the protests gained momentum. Soon the entire football team of the university joined in. protestors vehemently called for the President of the system Timothy M. Wolfe to resign.

    On Monday, the decision to step down was announced by the president. R. Bowen Loftin, the Columbia campus chancellor soon followed suit and announced his resignation hours after the President stepped down.

    The past year has witnessed several such protests against racism across various universities in America. This particular protest in Missouri was successful and the entire situation was pretty dramatic.

    Racial disparities are evident as is seen in the number of people protesting across campuses in the country. A lot of attention is being generated towards higher education racial disparities through these events.

    Most of the events are being organized and attended by African American students, presidents, professors and selective college enrolments. Here is a comprehensive overview of this situation.
    Enrolment related disparities are rampant in many colleges. It is obvious that in many universities, enrolment is racially polarized. In selective colleges, there is over representation of white students. The reason for this is pretty obvious.

    White students are financially more resourceful which means they have much more supportive resources to be educated in comfort. In less selective institutions, African-American students are over represented.

    Centre on Education and the Workforce at the Georgetown University conducted a study in 2013. This study showed that since the mid-nineties, there is a rapid increase in this polarization.
    Another area where racial disparity is evident is sports.

    In the competitive football team roster, African American students are definitely not underrepresented. In fact, when you look at the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, you will find that majority of the players are African Americans.

    According to the University of Florida’s Sports Institute for Diversity and Ethics however, white and male overwhelmingly form the crux of the majority of leaders of the conferences and colleges of the subdivision. For example, head football coach percentage at the subdivision team measure up to 87%.

    When it comes to faculty members, racial disparity is extremely obvious. Full time faculty members especially are predominantly white says a data released by the US Department of Education. In the year 2013, 84% full time professors and 78% faculty full-time members were white.

    According to American Council on Education data, even when it comes to presidents, whites are over represented among college leaders. 88% recently hired presidents and 87% existing presidents are white.


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