Jim Escalante, University of Wisconsin-Madison
It is difhcult to identify institutional representation and to evaluate the professional development of Latino scholars in Arts and Literature bccause they are so scarce and invisible. Affirmative action offices usually will not or cannot provide lists of Latino faculty at their institutions. Even when available, statistics may be misleading because of varying criteria for counting Latino faculty. However, on the basis of shared experiences and observations, it is clear that stability for Latino scholars is undermined by the contradiction between marginalization of their areas of specialization and intense demand for token Latino representation on faculties. Tenure reviews would benefit from using outside Latino scholars who can serve as external reviewers. Up to now networking with other Latino faculty and students is rare. Latino faculty numbers have, therefore, grown mostly at the lower levels, represented primarily by instructors who have limited-term, often part-time appointments.
Other long-term and situational factors have aggravated the problem of professional development for Latinos. In the first category is the refusal of publishers to consider works in Spanish. Another is the absence of a showcase for Latino performance and visual artists. Visibility at the national and local levels is imperative for thc nurturing of Latino artists. A recent condition is the funding crisis specific to the arts and humanities. Programs need to be created that will address the dual task of developing students and faculty simultaneously. Networks need to be established that will provide support for funding proposals.
The scholars in this group recommend the following measures to promote the professional development of Latino faculty in the Midwest: