Shortage of Black Faculty Prompts Florida Law School To Hire Race Relations Consultant
GAINESVILLE, Fla. The University of Florida’s law school has taken steps to hire a race relations consultant to find out why it can’t keep Black faculty members. Black faculty members hold only two of the law school’s 54 full-time faculty positions. “I attribute it to the feeling that the law school has been inhospitable to African Americans,” says Jon Mills, interim dean of the Levin College of Law. Mills’ decision came two days after the school announced that its highest ranking Black official, Kenneth Nunn, had resigned as associate dean for Law Center Affairs, in part because of the school’s inability to retain Black faculty members (see Black Issues, Oct. 12). Mills says the school will ask the consultant to interview former faculty members and students about their experiences at the law school. “In about 30 days we’ll get together to talk about the problem,” Mills says. The lack of Black faculty has been a sore point for Black students at the law school for some time, says law student Millicent Daniels. “This feeling did not begin with Ken Nunn’s resignation,” Daniels says. “It began years ago and it has come to a head now.”The Black Law Student Association also will study conditions at the law school, Mills says. Records from the Association of American Law Schools indicate that during 1998-99 there were 1,056 minority law school faculty members, representing 13.3 percent of total faculty counts. Of that 1,056 figure, 9.0 percent were deans; 24.0 percent were associate deans ; 43.8 percent were assistant deans; 9.8 percent were full professors; 25.4 percent were associate professors; 25.5 percent were assistant professors; 13.6 percent were lecturers and instructors; and 4.4 percent were deans and professor emeriti.
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