By the Numbers: Diversity of Students and Faculty

Sunday, May 7, 2023 - 7:00pm

The college’s recently proposed Diversity and Inclusion plan includes goals to increase the diversity of our faculty, staff and student populations. To position ourselves for success in these initiatives, it is important to understand where we stand today and what our recent trends have been, including individuals from underrepresented groups in our faculty, staff and student population.

As a baseline for racial and ethnic diversity, we will examine the diversity of the State of Nebraska and the broader university community. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the State of Nebraska is predominately white at 77.4% of the overall population. The largest underrepresented group is Hispanic/Latino citizens at 12% of the population, followed by black/African American citizens at 5.3% of the population. 

*as of July 1, 2022

The College of Journalism and Mass Communications is also predominately white in its faculty and student populations, demonstrating that we have the opportunity to improve in our efforts to increase diversity in our college. In fall 2022, the college’s full-time faculty was 81.8% white, trailing the State of Nebraska, and the broader university faculty at 80.2% white. The college’s undergraduate student population was 78.7% white, just slightly above the State of Nebraska and above the UNL student population at 76% white. 

The college’s position compared to the state and broader university community varies by underrepresented group. The college’s proportion of black/African American faculty, at 6.1%, exceeds both the State of Nebraska, at 5.3% and the broader UNL faculty at 1.8%. The college’s black/African American student population, at 3.8%, exceeds the UNL student population at 2.9%. 

The college does not have any American Indian/Alaska Native faculty or students. While the Nebraska population is 1.6%, the proportion of UNL faculty and students is very small at .2% each. 

The proportion of Asian CoJMC faculty, at 6.1%, exceeds the population of Nebraska, at 2.8% but trails behind the broader UNL faculty at 12.4%. Asian CoJMC students, at 1.3%, trail behind both the state and the UNL student population at 3.8%. 

The college’s proportion of Hispanic/Latino faculty is 3%, trailing behind Nebraska at 12% and the UNL faculty at 4.5%. The proportion of Hispanic/Latino students is 7.5%, also trailing behind the state and the UNL student population of 8.9%. 

In fall 2022, the college didn’t have any multiracial full-time faculty, while the State of Nebraska was 2.4% multiracial and the UNL faculty was .5%. However, the college’s student population was 4.2% multiracial, exceeding the state and the UNL student population at 3.6%. 

Hawaiian and Pacific islanders comprise .1% of the state population and .1% of the UNL student population, but 0% of the UNL faculty, CoJMC faculty and CoJMC student populations. 

Overall, the college lags behind the state and the university in recruiting and retaining underrepresented faculty and students. While we exceed these comparators for black/African American faculty and students and multiracial students, we have an opportunity to expand our efforts to recruit and retain Asian and Hispanic/Latino faculty and students.

While we have work to do, the college has made progress in the diversity recruiting of students over the past 10 years. In fall 2013, 12.6% of the college’s undergraduate students were from underrepresented groups. In fall 2022, that figure rose to 20.3%, an increase of 61.1%. 

Additionally, the gap between the college’s proportion of underrepresented students and the university’s proportion of underrepresented students has diminished, indicating that the underrepresented student population in CoJMC is growing faster than the university.