Dr. Corey Baker, a professor of computer science in UK’s engineering school, said that this is often due to professors being “burned out” during their doctoral studies, but he said he feels that is true for all groups.
“I believe a number of underrepresented groups apply to UK and other R1 institutions,” Baker said. “The problem in my opinion is departments and hiring committees are not selecting underrepresented faculty who apply.”
Another issue Feist-Price said she deals with in recruiting is that many minority groups prefer more northern or progressive states. Baker agreed that safety was a concern of his when he first came to UK.
“I was very skeptical of Kentucky in this regard, but speaking with Dr. Feist-Price as well as other faculty who look similar to me help dispel some of these concerns,” about Lexington especially, he said.
“People in Lexington are friendlier than I expected,” he said, but he does not feel that northern states are more progressive or should be a goal destination.
“I have the same concerns in all states,” he said. “I will say minority groups can help people who are unfamiliar with a particular city/state weigh the pros and cons.”
Despite these recruiting challenges, Feist-Price said UK is doing “considerably better” in its diversity and inclusion efforts compared to other southern states.
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