MCLR - 1994 Roundtable


Presented By:

Sylvia Hurtado, The University of Michigan


We still know very little about Midwest Latino scholars in education, who are on our campuses. Latino scholars and students are still invisible on campuses. We also exist in a system of revolving doors. The length of stay on campus for Latino scholars is typically short. We are caught in a system of dualistic thinking about diversity and minorities that have an impact on research, teaching assignments, and service. Some scholars are overburdened with service obligations while others are excluded from campus diversity committees. One consistent problem is a lack of respect for Latino faculty from both students and colleagues. Some scholars reported feeling apologetic for studying Latinos while others felt locked into minority issues. Institutions are aware of the situation but choose to ignore the problem.

It is important to establish programs that will systematically evaluate and improve the recruitment and retention of Latino faculty for tenure-track and tenured positions. Institutions need to monitor the high turnover ol Latlno faculty and conduct exit interviews. MCLR may be able to coordinate this effort among its member institutions to develop a regional data base and profile. Faculty members should also start writing essays about why they came to the Midwest and why they are leaving.

It is vital that advocacy efforts on hehalf of Latino faculty be strengthened. MCLR should continue the practice of visiting with provosts and vice presidents on campuses to reaffirm the importance of Latinos on campuses. The Scholars' Roundtable was a good example of promoting the Latino presence: a new university president who had just arrived on campus and still had not unpacked felt it was important to meet with the Latino scholars. This needs to be coupled with an educational program for university administrations and campus groups who still labor under the misconception that minority issues are primarily or exclusively African-American issues and that Latinos do not have a history of discrimination against them.


The educution group makes the following recommendations to address the challenge of Latino faculty development:

  • Preparation of a demographic picture of Latino faculty in the Midwest. A profile of who is here in the Midwest broken down by various categories such as gender, length of stay, condition of employment (temporary, part-time, tenured, administrative) needs to be compiled.

  • Production of an MCLR position paper on the development of Latino faculty.

  • Promotion of well-considered and funded strategies by universities to hire and support Latino faculty.

  • Continued promotion by MCLR of collaboration and networking.

  • Creation of Latino faculty directories for the Midwest and the nation.

  • Networking with other major Latino study centers across the country.

  • Production of specialized directories that identify experts in our various areas to assist with the tenure process.

  • Organization of a summer institute of visiting scholars to promote collaborations.

  • Organization of peer mentoring programs for graduate students and new professors.

  • Exploration of leveraging strategies in cooperation with third parties like MALDEF (Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund), HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities), NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and state legislators .

  • Establishment of on-campus networks and organizations of Latino faculty, staff, and graduate students for moral and practical support.
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    Last Updated: March 11, 1996