Black Doctoral Network to Hold its 1st Recruitment Fair - Higher Education
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Black Doctoral Network to Hold its 1st Recruitment Fair

by Catherine Morris

It is no secret that people of color are underrepresented on the faculties of colleges and universities across the country, particularly at elite institutions.

Administrators often point to the so-called pipeline problem when discussing problems of hiring and retaining faculty of color. In 2013, only 3 percent of all full-time faculty were Black, and 4 percent Hispanic, according to the most recent available data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Their numbers are few, and Ph.D.s of color are attractive hires for corporations who also want to boost their diversity numbers, siphoning off those who might otherwise pursue a career in academe.

Recognizing the need to connect more professionals and Ph.D.s of color with job opportunities in academia and the nonprofit world, the Black Doctoral Network (BDN) will hold its first ever Recruitment Fair in Philadelphia on February 25-27.

More than thirty university partners are expected to be present, along with more than 200 attendees, according to Deandra Taylor, BDN conference chair and director of operations. The Recruitment Fair is open to Black and Latino graduate students and advanced degree holders.

“Our scholars stretch across a wide array of disciplines,” Taylor said.

Ultimately, recruiters stand to benefit from meeting with scholars and professionals from multiple disciplines, she said. “[It’s] great for them, because then they’re not just hiring for one specific field,” Taylor said. “They can cover even more ground than expected.”

The BDN is a five-year-old organization with a goal of fostering connections among black professors and and helping bolster their careers in academia. At the organization’s annual conference, held this year in Atlanta in October, scholars from across the country can meet one another, present research, and engage in the exchange of ideas.

For more information about the Recruitment Fair and to learn more about the BDN, visit

Staff writer Catherine Morris can be reached at

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