Ohio State’s faculty is more than two-thirds white, but that’s about average compared to other Big Ten schools. The university does, however, have the lowest representation of women.
With only about 33 percent of its faculty being female, OSU has the lowest number of female faculty among all 12 Big Ten schools, according to OSU’s website.
The university’s total faculty is about 77 percent white, 21 percent minority with 6 percent unknown, according to the OSU Human Resources’ website.
“Our data are part of a national crisis reflecting the need to more aggressively recruit a diverse faculty for 21st century student populations,” said Valerie Lee, vice provost of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at OSU, in a Jan. 22 email.
This contrasts with the University of Iowa, whose faculty is comprised of 63.9 percent female, according to UI’s website. Seven of the 12 Big Ten universities have faculties that are more than half women, according to their respective websites.
Olivia Wiser, a second-year in business administration, said she’s surprised there are not more women in OSU’s faculty. She said diversity is important to the student body and teachers should be able to communicate their subjects clearly.
“I think they should hire people from different backgrounds,” she said.
Five universities – Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Purdue – employ a higher percentage of minorities in their faculties than OSU.
Iowa, Penn State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Indiana have faculty that is more than 80 percent white, according to data from their respective websites. Purdue employs the highest percentage of minority faculty members with 26 percent.
Some faculty members like Manuel Martinez, an associate English professor at OSU, said the university has made progress on the issue of minority representation in its faculty, but that it has a long way to go.
“We made immense strides,” he said. “It’s a more diverse place, a stronger and more vibrant intellectual space. That’s what diversity brings to the university. We still have a ways to go, of course.”
Some OSU students said diversity is an important component in their education.
“By having a diverse faculty you’ll have a diverse education,” said Dae Yoon Lee, a second-year in communication. She said a diverse staff will make students better prepared when going to diverse places in the future.