Joyce Bwenyi 06/11/2018 Intermed Comp Helms Stakeholder Analysis Proposal and Analysis of one Source The basis of this paper is to illustrate that the lack of diversity in faculty members within the institution of TCU is dangerous and regressive in our post segregation society

Joyce Bwenyi
06/11/2018
Intermed Comp
Helms
Stakeholder Analysis Proposal and Analysis of one Source
The basis of this paper is to illustrate that the lack of diversity in faculty members within the institution of TCU is dangerous and regressive in our post segregation society. A thorough analysis of the major stakeholder effected will demonstrate how the Pathos, Ethos and Logos, support this claim. I interviewed, Dr. Jason Helms, an associate professor at TCU and the following sections of this paper will reveal how this issue effects even him, a white male professor. Dr. Helms is concerned with the lack of diversity at TCU, and as a Member of the English Department hiring Committee, Affirmative Action and Compliance committee and an associate professor at TCU, is he committed to raising this awareness to his peers and members of the administration in hopes that in working together, they may enact the necessary changes that will ultimately diversify the faculty demographic at TCU.

69745192334087120679971408Dr. Helms is a one of the key players in the diversity issue on campus. He has the power to enact physical change, although not in the scale and magnitude of say, a member in the Board of trustees, but still change that may affect effect the faculty demographic at TCU. This is mostly due to the positions he holds. As previously stated, he is a member of the English Department hiring committee, Affirmative action and Compliance committee, and an associate professor at TCU, thus the faculty demographic depends on the choices that his departments and organizations make. This is not to say that, what he does will change the diversity issue over night, but rather his efforts are contributing to a larger cause that will eventually allow the campus to look like a lot more like a diverse institution.

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I conducted an interview with Dr. Helms to acquire how he felt about the diversity crisis at TCU. Before the interviewed began, Dr. Helms went a made himself a cup of coffee, this really set a lax tone for the duration of the time. Instead of being a strict question-answer interview between student and professor, it felt more like a conversation. I was compelled to believe and trust in everything that Dr. Helms was going to share with me. According to Dr. Helms, “while the English department is quite diverse, in other aspects such as religion and sexuality, it is not very diverse in terms of race”. He deliberately expressed that his field is “very white” referring to the number of white professors in his department compared to professors of color. This is very alarming in that, if the English department, which he also described as being “bigger than the college of education” is said to be the most diverse, yet is still “very white” how then does the overall faculty demographic of the university compare to this? This evokes a sense of sympathy, because even as an African American student on this campus, it’s easy to feel marginalized, let alone being the only Black, Hispanic, or Asian professor in your field. I also relate with them, especially in how they can feel very out of place. Dr. Helm’s statement also evokes a certain anger in knowing that, the university is not making efforts to somehow fix this issue, and if they are, these efforts are really slow and overdue considering the rate at which our university is growing.
During the interview, I realized that Dr. Helms believes that most white people have mixed priorities when it comes to the topic of race. He states that “some people are more afraid of being called racist than to actually be racist”. I believe this to be true of our own university because even if Dr. Helms being ” straight white man” is able to see this issue, then it really must exist. TCU is so concerned with image and reputation that in 2016, the university named Dr. Darron Turner as its very first “Chief of inclusion Officer” personally I find this to be a little purposeless given that his actual roles and responsibilities are still quite unclear to most students. To the university though, I’m sure it sounds sound nice to have such position filled, and filled by a black man at that. This is not to discredit the work that Dr. Turner is doing for inclusitivity, but the truth of a matter is that it is not the most effective step the university could have taken to address the problem of diversity on our campus. To me it feels as though TCU is playing the classic game of ” I’m not racist, my best friend is black” by appointing Dr. Turner to this position.

Would a more appropriate response have been to simply hire more faculty of color? As an African American student attending this predominately white institution, the obviously answer is yes, absolutely! Here’s why, to me, I hardly feel that our school has a diversity of thoughts and ideas due to how strikingly similar the demographic of faculty is. Bringing more faculty of color would introduce a more diverse way of thinking and perspectives because sometimes “being privileged is being blind” this statement by Dr. Helms reveals the reason why TCU seems to be slow to change. “As a straight white man” he has the right to make such claims because he owns being white, and he might be speaking from experience versus if I were to make such claims to would come from a place of misjudgment. So in hiring more factually of color, should TCU then stop hiring white professors? I believe the university should prioritize making the classrooms a more suitable learning environment for students of color and if that looks like prioritizing non white applicants over white applicants for teaching positions that involves any variation of ethnic studies, then that should very well be the priority.

It is essential to explore what happens from the time a professor is made aware of a position on campus to the time they are interviewed and hired. The details of what takes places between these two major moments make all the difference in evaluating if this might affect the number of non-white applicants. It’s important to look at the requirements as well, in order to uncover the discrepancies that may exist between the total number of minority applicants versus the total number of minorities hired. I believe if students of color are made aware of the details that entail the hiring process, they may be understanding of why they process may appear to be ‘taking so long’. In order to fully uncover what takes place, as previously stated, the interview interview with Dr. Helms served to gain more insight in the actual hiring process and also to learn why the percentage of faculties of color may not seem to be growing at the rate at which the percentage of white faculty member are.

The interview provoked some elements of pathos, in that, when asked about how the university/ the board reacts to the issue of race Dr. Helms contextualizes the demographic of the board of trustees to be “mostly conservatives”, this invokes a sense of stubbornness and unwavering ideals that do not evolve with the times or culture. This imagine mostly stems from our culture, and how the media defines the term “Conservatives”. For most college aged adults, the term has taken on a negative connotation especially given the how race relations between blacks and whites in America are so sensitive. These sentiments are justified, because when we thinks of elite white males making rules that effect minorities in an institution, rarely do they associate any positivity with this. Why is that the case? Well let’s paint quick mental picture of the word. To the every day American, words like “rich” “middle aged white man” “elite” and occasionally “Trump supporter” can be unanimously grouped into the category of “conservatives” because this is what we are conditioned to believe. In some instances this is not the case, but in large this observance has proved to be true more often than not. So when minority students learned that these are the type of people making decisions that will ultimately effect their learning experience, it provokes an enraging thought that demands action.

The element of Logos which argues based on facts and reason appeared, through out Dr. Helm’s responses. For instance, Dr. Helms mentions how the internal pressures of minority students with the help of professors, pushed the university to make changes to the diversity diversity issue that they other wise would not have. This can be seen through emergence of a new program on campus known as Comparative Race/ Ethnic Studies (CRES). CRES was seen as a major stride stride for diversity on our campus, but although this was a great milestone for our university, it is beneficial to acknowledge the shameful fact that essentially without students and faculty urging our administrations that programs like these are necessary, the university would not have taken heed nor could they have created the program on their own. Thus, it is to say that, the university is not too concerned with diversifying the curriculum let alone the faculty members, unless students and professors band together and demand the changes they wish to see from the administration. This act alone reveals the importance of diversity on campus, it is certain that if the faculty of TCU was more diverse or even if more courses were taught by professors of color, minority students would not be forced to feel as if something were missing from their education. What the CRES program is also illustrating is that, the administration failed minority students so bad that they felt the need to take matters into their own hands and demand basic changes in the system, that otherwise should have been incorporated into curriculum. The lack of faculty diversity at TCU is robbing minority students and other learners the opportunity to become educated and “responsible citizens in a global community”. As times change and culture also change, it appears that TCU is not keeping up with the times when it comes to cultural diversity.