Latino Faculty in Hispanic-Serving Institutions: Where is the Diversity?

  • Frances Contreras University of California, San Diego


Diversity in higher education with respect to faculty composition and executive leadership remains an elusive goal for many institutions of higher education. Over thirty years of research on faculty of color in academe has found that the pipeline for faculty of color still remains a significant challenge across higher education institutions and sectors (Turner, Gonzalez, & Wood, & 2008). For Hispanic-Serving Institutions, that possess a diverse base of students, faculty diversity, and the presence of Latino faculty, plays a critical role in academic excellence, mentorship and overall climate (Milem, 2003; Santos & Acevedo-Gil, 2013). This study examined two systems of higher education in California to explore the trends in Latino faculty diversity, given the critical mass of Latino undergraduates at both the community college and California State University systems of higher education. Findings suggest a disconnect between student diversity and tenure line faculty diversity exists. For HSI systems, like those present in California, faculty diversity may play an even greater role in raising Latino college completion, ultimately transforming the next generation of Latinos in California.