Par for the Course: Black Professors Discriminated Against in the Tenure Process

Dr. Boyce Watkins ponders whether black scholars have to sue in order to get tenure.


The black tax is at it again. This time in academia, where Dr. Boyce Watkins highlights the drama associated with black scholars getting tenure at mainstream universities. He examines the case of Emerson College, which allowed an independent panel to evaluate its tenure and promotion practices. The evaluation found that almost every single black person that had applied for tenure at the university was somehow unqualified for the job. Of the three tenured black faculty members in the 129-year history of the institution, two had to sue the college to get tenure. According to Dr. Watkins, this is par for the course. The report found that black scholarship is often not weighted as heavily as white scholarship. There was a pattern of discrimination in hiring and promotion. The findings don't bode well for black professors or the so-called post-racial society in which we're supposed to be living.