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Xavier Magazine | April 21, 2018

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New World

By France Griggs Sloat

The University adjusted its hiring practices this spring when it began looking to fill 33 faculty openings. The results are making a world of difference. So far, 45 percent of the new hires are minorities. Seven are from abroad—Iran, Syria, Spain, Germany, China, Malaysia and India. Six are African American, pushing the number of black faculty from eight to 14. In changing its hiring strategies, the University targeted historically black colleges, aimed job advertisements at broader audiences and contacted universities that produce sizable numbers of minority doctorates. Though the number of African-American faculty is still less than 5 percent, the results are a giant leap from when Napoleon Adebola Bryant Jr. became the University’s first black tenured professor in 1976. “I applaud Mike Graham,” Bryant says. “It sounds like Xavier is getting in line with its creed and spirit. I went there in 1970 and had a hell of a time getting full professorship.” “I think people are sensing an attitude that’s very welcoming,” says executive director for diversity development Ken Durgans. “We are just trying to catch up to the 21st century. We’re a little behind, but I think we’re expecting another good year.” Janice Walker, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, says students must be exposed to differing viewpoints and cultural thinking to become well-rounded citizens. What better way than from those who hail from such cultures?

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