Virginia Tech is working to be a more diverse and inclusive university. It is trying to attract students that represent all the diversity that exists in the society, while at the same time is trying to retain students that represent minorities in the Hokie community.
I have seen that some departments are also investing to have a more diverse faculty team. However, there is still a considerable difference between the number of white and non-white faculty. According to the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness, Virginia Tech has a total of 1,496 tenure and tenure-track faculty. From that total, 72.7% are white and the rest is divided as follows: 14.3% Asian, 3.4% Hispanics, 3.2 Black or African American, 0.5% of two or more races, 0.4% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and 5.3% are categorized as nonresident aliens.
In this sense, and because the background and experiences of every professor are different, I think that faculty should receive workshops on diversity and inclusion topics. These workshops should be in person and obligatory for all because an online course won’t be enough to transfer this sensitive information. Professors are important to advance in inclusion inside a university because they interact with students, are in charge of the future of education, and select the next generation of faculty. If Virginia Tech prepares its human resources to be more open and inclusive, the atmosphere and the students’ experiences will improve in the long term.
Diversity and inclusion are complex topics, so, every training opportunity will help to expand the faculty knowledge. This training could improve the experience of minority groups in their insertion to the Virginia Tech community.
- Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness, Virginia Tech. https://www.ir.vt.edu/data/facultyStaff.html