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Situation of Hispanics on Campus -- Informal Diagnosis 2004

  1. Students.

    Recruitment : Numbers for 2002 indicate that there were 535 Hispanic students on campus (counting Mexican-Americans and other Hispanics, undergraduates and graduates) of a total of 22,762 students. That represents 2.35% of the student body. In 2000, according to the Census, 7% of the state of Kansas population was Hispanic. Also according to the Census, Hispanic population in Kansas is growing at a rate of about 8% a year. Thus, we can estimate the Hispanic population in the state at 8.16% for 2002 . Since 1997 the percentage of Hispanic students on campus went from 2.20% to 2.35%, a growth rate of about 0.3% a year. If we had today a percentage of Hispanic students consistent with Kansas population we would have over 1,500 Hispanic students on campus. If we had a percentage of Hispanic students consistent with demographic trends since 1997 (starting with our 1997 number as a basis) we would have over 730 Hispanic students. But we have only 535. If KSU and the State of Kansas keep their current trend, by the end of this decade Hispanics will be more than 12% in Kansas but only 2.59% at KSU, the state's land-grant institution!

    Retention: Kansas State was 12 th in the big twelve for graduation rate (33%) of Hispanic students according to a study published in 2002 by Black Issues in Higher Education . Our most recent data for 6-year graduation (students starting in 1998) is 40.28%, an important improvement, but very low compared with the general average of 53%, and an average of over 60% for white students. (Note that the average ACT for students entering in 1998 was 23.8 compared to an average for Hispanic students of 22.3, so it is difficult to blame weak academic background for the difference in retention rate).

  2. Faculty.

    Recruitment : There were, as of December of 2003, 18 full-time tenured or tenure-track Hispanic faculty at KSU, of a total of 1155 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty. That represents 1.6%. The percentage is similar when considering only instructional faculty. (We estimate that the percentage of tenured faculty is between 1.5 and 2%). While there has been an improvement in the last two years (we estimate that the number is currently 24, for the most part because of the College of Arts and Sciences hiring 6 new Hispanic faculty in 2004 and 2005), numbers are significantly smaller in most areas given that almost a fifth of the Hispanic faculty are members of the Spanish section of the Modern Languages department (in fact, more than half of the Hispanics faculty belong to the College of Arts and Sciences, while two colleges have no Hispanic faculty on tenure or tenure track appointments.)

    Retention: Official data available only allows comparison of numbers for instructional faculty in the last 10 years. There were 12 Hispanic faculty in 1993, 18 in 1998 and 18 in 2003. Regarding retention, we know of 5 Hispanic faculty who left KSU in the last 5 years.

  3. Higher Administration

    There are two Hispanic Department Heads out of around sixty-five at the University. There are no Deans, Vice Provosts, Associate Provosts, Vice Presidents, or other high academic officers who are Hispanic. The highest Hispanics in the administration are an Associate Dean and the Associate Director of Affirmative Action. There are no other Hispanics in Associate or Assistant Dean positions.

  4. Unclassified Professionals.

    Recruitment : There were, as of September 2002, 60 Hispanic unclassified professionals at KSU, of a total of 2,186 unclassified professionals. That represents2.74%. It is important to notice that unclassified professionals, unless they are at the higher end of the spectrum, are frequently 9-month employees without the benefits of sabbaticals or promotions.

    Retention: We don't have official data on retention. However, in this category there seems to be a clear underepresentation at the higher levels of responsibility and salary.

  5. Classified Staff

    Recruitment: We don't have fully intelligible data here, but it seems that representation in this category is also below 3%.

    Retention: We don't have official data on retention. However, in this category there seems to be a clear underepresentation at the levels higher than the janitorial level (secretaries, etc.).

  6. Diversity Officers

    The only Hispanic officer working on diversity issues is the Director of Multicultural Programs and Services from the Office of Diversity and Dual Career Development.

  7. Curriculum

    The course offering with content that relates to Latin American or Hispanic issues is extremely low. The problem can be divided in two areas:

    1. Outside of the Spanish section of the Modern Languages Department, the offer is limited to two or three courses (some of them taught every four semesters) on Latin American Sociology or Politics, and occasionally Latin American History or Geography. Most of these classes are offered by the only two non-language and literature professors who do primary research on Latin America . No regular classes (or specialized research) are available on Latin American History, Economics, Education, Philosophy, Art, Agriculture, Business, etc. No classes or research are available on social or historical issues dealing with Hispanic immigration in the US.
    2. At the Spanish section of the Modern Languages Department, the offer of culture and literature classes is relatively small (about 4 undergraduate classes per semester). The Spanish section is currently serving over 1,500 students (including almost 60 sections of language classes!) with 8 tenure or tenure track positions. In 1987, with the same 8 tenure or tenure track positions the Spanish section was serving 350 students.

    An informal look at retention rates of Hispanics at Big XII universities show a very high correlation between those universities with the strongest Latin American and Hispanic-American curriculum and those with the highest retention rates.