Professors M. Brian Blake and Juan E. Gilbert wrote an article on the diversity in the realm of academics for the Chronicle of Higher Education, a newspaper whose target audience is college and university faculty and administers. Blake and Gilbert discuss and present the idea of Black Computer Science majors as gradually becoming extinct. African-Americans represent roughly 13 percent of the our nation's populations, though only about 6 percent of all faculty members at American universities and colleges are American American. According to the Computing Research Association's widely used ‘Taulbee Survey Report’,
“ In the field of computer science, they make up only 1.3 percent of the faculty."
The numbers are not only small, they are decreasing as well, according statistic reports.
“...1.6 percent of such degrees went to blacks in 2008-9, while federal data show that 3.7 percent, [of] doctorate recipients in computer and information sciences in 2008, were black U.S. citizens...”
Blake and Gilbert’s speculations are in agreement with SIBL’s interest in lack of women in Computer Science, as they question why African Americans lack prevalence in the Computer Science major when technological advances in our country (as well as the world) have heavily influenced and have prominently made its way into our everyday lives. They wonder if the lack of positive exposure to the major, as well as a lack of Black successful role models, has deterred African Americans from gaining interest in the field. Their discussion involves various intervention ideas that could help promote more Computer Science appeal to African Americans through programs and close mentoring.
Despite the statistics, it seems the small numbers have yet to illustrate the overall conflict of American-American shortage in universities and colleges. Have these two professors overlooked a major problem regarding underrepresented minorities in academia in general (i.e. shortage of African American representatives in majors across the board?) Or is lack of exposure to the field really the cause of shortage of Black Computer Science representatives in academia?
Posted by: Sarah T.