The University of Missouri is having trouble retaining its Black faculty staff members. At the beginning of this school year, there were only 83 Black faculty members, down from 92 from the previous year, according to the Columbia Missourian. MU provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs Latha Ramchand spoke about the exit interviews conducted by the Office of the Provost. Some reasons that were shared for leaving ranged from “denied promotions, frustration with administration, and micro-aggressions or culture and relationships within colleges or departments.”
Despite the initiatives the school is excited to install for retention, Black students have shared their concerns about Black faculty leaving. The Columbia Missourian shares that while the Black faculty percentage has increased since 2015, it’s still not representative of the number of Black students at the college. A recent graduate named Caleb Sewell stated his feelings about how Black staff had been pushed out of tenure.
“I saw the way they pushed out Black faculty and Black staff, and I didn’t know if I would continue there, if the faculty in my program that I will be pursuing would even still be there or if I would even be safe there still,” Sewell said.
Associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development Charles Munter spoke on MU vice chancellor of inclusion, diversity, and equity Maurice Gipson’s comments that he was excited about faculty leaving to “do incredible things elsewhere.”
“I don’t know if this is a ‘Hooray for us’ for sending great faculty of color out there in the world away from Mizzou’s campus,” Munter said. “We’ve lost 20 people in my college in less than two years,” he added. “Twenty faculty members have announced their departures, and only one was a white man. I just kind of bristle when people say, ‘It’s because they have great opportunities.’ It just doesn’t capture everything and the reasons why they left.”