Broadening participation within STEM faculty has been demonstrated in recent research as key to broadening student participation in STEM fields and cultivating a STEM workforce able to tackle 21st century problems. Research has also indicated that diverse teams in STEM are more innovative, more productive, and better able to solve complex problems than heterogeneous groups.
Despite the centrality of diversity in learning and student success, efforts to increase underrepresented faculty at a national scale have been largely unsuccessful in STEM fields. A 2015 analysis revealed that underrepresented minority faculty occupied a mere 8 percent of associate and full professorships in STEM fields at four-year institutions.
APLU’s more than 230 members are particularly poised to achieve movement on this complex issue as they award a high number of STEM undergraduate and graduate STEM degrees and employ a significant number of STEM faculty. According to the National Science Board’s 2016 Science and Engineering Indicators, public research universities award 48 percent of all science and engineering undergraduate degrees, 40 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of doctoral degrees.