Research in Higher Education

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 115–148 | Cite as


  • Stephen Kulis
  • Yinong Chong
  • Heather Shaw


Severe underrepresentation of African-Americansamong postsecondary faculty is often linked toeducational pipeline “supply” problems,while institutional variations in “demand”for black faculty labor and barriers to theirrecruitment and retention receive less empiricalattention. Using a nationally representative sample ofcollege faculty from a wide array of institutions andscience disciplines, this study investigates linksbetween internal organizational conditions and blackfaculty representation. Hypotheses derive from competingexplanations of the role of race in academicorganizations: institutionalized discrimination to protectdominant group privileges; statistical discriminationbased on expectations of racial group differences inacademic preparation; labor supply and politicalconstraints on black faculty recruitment. A multivariateanalysis examines organizational conditions that promoteor curb these dynamics and their relationship to blackappointments at different tenure levels. Results indicate that although the discipline-specificblack doctoral labor supply is a powerful constraint onthe representation of black faculty, selectiveorganizational contexts are substantial influences as well. Although we find little evidence thatinsulation from competition or segmented faculty labormarkets influence the racial composition of faculties,black faculty are more often found whereinstitutionalized discrimination may be checked by greaterformalization and black constituencies on campus.Consistent with statistical discrimination, blackfaculty are poorly represented at research-orientedinstitutions, even controlling for the scholarly reputationof doctoral credentials.


Labor Supply Education Research Organizational Context Powerful Constraint Organizational Condition 
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© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Kulis
  • Yinong Chong
  • Heather Shaw

There are no affiliations available

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