New Report Exposes Widespread Academic Racism at Pennsylvania State University


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A year ago, a report by Gary King and Darryl Thomas detailed the history of Black faculty at Pennsylvania State Univerity. (See JBHE post.) The report showed that “although the first Black student, Calvin Waller, entered Penn State in 1899 more than 40 years after it was founded, the first full-time African American professor, Mary E. Godfrey, was not hired until 1956 as an assistant professor of art education. Charles T. Davis began service in 1961 as an associate professor and became the first Black professor promoted with tenure to full professor in 1963.” By 1975, there were 35 Black faculty members at Penn State but they made up only 1 percent of the total faculty. Now, according to the study, African Americans make up 10.6 percent of the population of Pennsylvania. But only 4.1 percent of the student body at the state’s flagship university is Black. Now Dr. King and Dr. Thomas along with several colleagues have published Part 2 of More Rivers to Cross: Black Faculty and Academic Racism at Pennsylvania State University. This report presents the results of a survey of Black professors at the main and satellite campuses of Penn State regarding their experiences with racism,...