Quinnipiac reveals its 2022 Equity & Inclusion Report, indicates a decrease in diversity

Aidan Sheedy, Copy Editor

Quinnipiac University President Judy Olian and Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Leadership Don Sawyer III officially released the university’s second annual Equity and Inclusion Report on Sept. 8.

The report included 15 pages of student and faculty stories, university initiatives, statistics and the class of 2025 demographics.

Overall, the report indicated a lapse in progress in the 10-Point Plan, the university’s blueprint for increasing community diversity. Among all staff and faculty members employed in the spring of 2021, 82.1% did not identify as an underrepresented minority, a 0.8% increase from the 2021 report.

Infographic by Peyton McKenzie

In the same way, the Black faculty population shrank and has continued to shrink among the last three years. Only 4.1% of faculty members identify as Black, while this number was previously at 5.4% in 2020.

Sawyer told the Chronicle that the university’s statistics do not tell the whole story.

“If you have between 18-20% faculty of color, if one or two people leave, that percentage is going to drop,” Sawyer said. “We are doing exit interviews to make sure it is not environment why people are leaving.”

Some students have noticed certain cultural classes are taught from a non-URM perspective, which they think is a result of a low hiring of URM faculty.

“When it comes to things like teaching ethnic classes, that’s where it becomes odd,” said Averial Evans, a sophomore journalism and political science double major. “You have white professors teaching African-American history … it’s just odd it’s not coming from a professor of that ethnicity.”

Some students believe that the university does not do quite enough to bring in faculty of color into the Quinnipiac classrooms.

“There is definitely a lack of outreach,” first-year political science major Autumn White said. “There are a lot of talented professors that are here already, but there are a lot of professors elsewhere that are overlooked …the school probably doesn’t see the need for having that representation.”

The 2021 report indicated that 34% of all faculty and staff hired in 2020 identify as an URM. But between Aug. 2021 and May 2022, that number has dipped to 24%.

“It affects the whole school in general,” White said. “If you have students like me and they want to come to this school and they don’t see (diversity) in the classroom, then they are not going to be comfortable to speak up if there’s an issue going on about race.”

The report included a breakdown of faculty demographics between each school within the university. The most diverse ratio came from the School of Business, standing at a URM percentage of 44.2%, which is a 3.9% decrease from the 2021 report, the biggest difference of all schools. In contrast, the largest increase came out of the School of Law at 2.1% improvement.

Student demographics were noted with only three categories: URM percentage, retention rate and class of 2025 demographics. No other classes or general student body statistics were made available in the report. 

Student diversity has seen a growth in the last four years, improving from an 18.5% URM student population in 2018 to 21.2% in 2021. This means that 78.8% of the class of 2025 is non-URM.

In addition to race and ethnicity statistics, the report also provided gender-based numbers for this year. The percentages are virtually the same with 62.9% and 61.9% female students, the latter being the class of 2025.

This year’s report also failed to expand the definition of gender. The 2021 and 2022 reports both have gender statistics defined exclusively by only male/female with a footnote stating, “Other category options have been requested for future data reports.”

As a whole, the report mainly highlights the individual stories of students, faculty and staff who have made contributions for the university and their communities.

Some students said they thought this was a marketing tactic to distract students from the staggering statistics. “It’s not a secret that (Quinnipiac) is a predominantly white institution,” Evans said. “But it was just crazy to see it in such a data- driven way.”