Stories tagged teaching

Jan
25
2007

The white male law professor -- an endangered species?: Photo from Rep. Jim Cooper, US House of Representatives
The white male law professor -- an endangered species?: Photo from Rep. Jim Cooper, US House of Representatives
The Science Museum of Minnesota is hosting a new exhibit Race: Are We So Different? A lot of racial topics are emotionally charged and hard to talk about. So, when we can find a scientific study, it gives us something a little more objective to discus.

This study shows that, over the last 14 years, white males have had a harder time getting jobs as law professors than minorities or female candidates:

Candidate Type Success Rate (%)
Minority Women 18.5
Minority Men 17.5
Non-Minority Women 15.0
Non-Minority Men 11.3

The study looks at success rate -- that is, what percentage of white candidates get hired, what percentage of black candidates get hired, etc. It does not look at what percentage of a law school's faculty is black, white, green, purple, etc.

The large amount of data in the study makes it pretty unlikely that this is a fluke -- the pattern has held steady for 13 of the past 14 years. It's hard to avoid drawing the conclusion that women and minorities enjoy an advantage in getting hired as law school teachers. Some people would say that's discrimination. Some would say it's justified to make up for the decades these groups were barred from the profession. Some would say it's necessary to give today's students a well-rounded education with many perspectives.

What do you say? Leave a comment.