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February 29, 1996

Black undergraduate enrollment increasing; report details numbers of minorities, women

African-Americans made up 9.2 percent of the Pittsburgh campus undergraduate student body in fall 1995, up from 7.7 percent four years earlier. Total minority enrollments among undergrads increased from 10.7 percent to 13.8 percent during those years.

Black entering freshmen enrollment at Pittsburgh reached an all-time high of 13.7 percent, or 346 students, last fall.

But only 46 percent of first-time, full-time black freshmen who enrolled at the Pittsburgh campus in fall 1988 had graduated six years later — compared with 71 percent of white first-time, full-time freshmen who entered in fall 1988.

Those statistics were included in a Pittsburgh campus affirmative action report distributed to trustees at the Feb. 22 board meeting.

The report made only two references to Pitt's Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville campuses and did not cite enrollment or employment numbers for them. Trustee William R. Robinson accused Pitt administrators of excluding the regionals in order to make the University's affirmative action record look better than it is. He urged the administration to be more forthcoming with University-wide statistics.

Interim Chancellor Mark Nordenberg replied that the Pittsburgh campus was the most appropriate point of comparison between Pitt and its fellow members of the American Association of Universities.

According to Pitt's Office of Affirmative Action, the four regional campuses collectively enroll 184 minority students (including 96 blacks) and eight foreign students out of a combined enrollment of 6,024. Whites account for 96.8 percent of the combined student bodies at the regional campuses, compared with 84.6 percent at the Pittsburgh campus.

Among the other highlights of the report distributed to trustees were the following: Blacks/total minorities The percentage of blacks among Pittsburgh campus graduate students was 5.2 percent in fall 1995, with total minority graduate enrollment at 9.8 percent.

Black and total minority enrollments in first-professional programs last fall stood at 7.9 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively. Blacks represent nearly 10 percent of the enrollment in the medical school and just over 8 percent in law.

From fall 1991 to fall 1995, the number of black tenured, full-time faculty dropped by two to 39, or 3.6 percent of the total, while the number of black tenure-stream, full-time faculty increased from eight (2.1 percent) to 17 (4.5 percent). Total minority full-time faculty representation stood at 14.3 percent in fall 1995.

In reporting the affirmative action statistics, Interim Chancellor Nordenberg said he was shocked to learn that the number of Pittsburgh campus black faculty members had dropped from a high of 72 in 1974 to 56 in 1995. The number of tenured black faculty increased steadily from a low of 12 in 1971 to a high of 48 in 1983, and now stands at 39.

Blacks made up 12.8 percent of Pittsburgh campus full-time staff in fall 1995. Blacks were best represented in the service/maintenance (27 percent) and technical/paraprofessional (21 percent) categories and least represented in the professional (8 percent), executive, administrative and managerial (7 percent) and skilled crafts (6 percent) categories.

Pittsburgh campus total minority full-time staff representation was 15.2 percent.

Women Women represented 52 percent of both undergraduate and graduate enrollments last fall. Female undergraduate and graduate students represented at least 40 percent of the enrollment in each Pitt school, except for business and engineering.

The number of female tenured faculty on the Pittsburgh campus increased by 1.2 percent over the last five years to 18.3 percent last fall. Women held 33.9 percent of tenure-stream positions. Women make up about 30 percent of all Pittsburgh campus faculty, including non-tenure-stream faculty.

Women made up 63 percent of the Pittsburgh campus full-time staff in fall 1995, ranging from more than half of employees in the secretarial/clerical (90 percent), other professional (63 percent) and technical/paraprofessional (53 percent) categories to about a quarter of those in executive, administrative and managerial (28 percent) and in service/maintenance (25 percent) positions to just 6 percent in the skilled crafts.

Minority- and women-owned businesses Since 1977, Pitt has had a formal policy of pursuing contracts and purchasing agreements with minority-owned businesses. The policy later was expanded to include businesses owned by women and disadvantaged persons. According to the affirmative action report, "Minority, women and disadvantaged business contracting and purchasing activity through the University Procurement and Materials Management and Facilities Management offices have grown dramatically, from less than 1 percent in 1977 to about 12 percent in fiscal year 1995. However, the number of blacks and women doing business with the University is still quite low."

— Bruce Steele

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