How to Undo Systemic Racism in Higher Education Faculty Hiring
January 20, 2023
On Thursday, January 12th assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion Veronica Carey, PhD, hosted Marybeth Gasman, PhD, author of Doing the Right Thing: How Colleges and Universities Can Undo Systemic Racism in Faculty Hiring. The 90-minute event welcomed more than 70 faculty, professional staff and students from across Drexel University. This frank discussion, held in the College of Nursing and Health Professions' new Health Sciences Building, focused on what CNHP can do to support the hiring and retention of faculty of color. Gasman, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair and a distinguished professor in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University, noted, " the reason why hiring faculty of color is an issue at most academies is because excuses have been made for the hiring of white faculty who may not have been as qualified as candidates of color."
In an interview format, Carey's first question, "why this book now?" Gasman responded, "I was angry enough to know academies should not continue like this." A historian by education, Gasman continued by sharing that she wanted to research how long this practice has been happening. Gasman stated that if an academy wants to do something it gets done. "My initial response to why this book now is also because academies do not want to hire faculty of color and I am tired of them stating we just can't find diverse faculty." She passionately answered Carey's follow-up questions — "why don't academies do more when they know the problem exists?", "what can leaders do to ensure equity in hiring?" and "how did you conduct research for this book?" Then, in and open Q&A, attendees asked Gasman to address concerns stemming from quality vs. pedigree and the excuses given for not doing the right thing.
Attendee Denise Way, DNP, an assistant clinical professor in Undergraduate Nursing, stated, "This was so wonderful to have an opportunity to be in a room where this topic was addressed. So proud to hear peers' comments and suggestions to correct this issue." Board of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion student members Alexis Robinson, Charlise Williams, and Seleena Jacob celebrated being at an event targeted to support diverse educational opportunities while they matriculate at CNHP.
Written by Veronica Carey, PhD, assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion and associate clinical professor