Equity and Access

Published in the Research School of Physics Event Horizon
Vol43 Issue17 15–19 May 2017

Many leading academic physics departments have no underrepresented-minority faculty members. My own department at the University of Washington has never had an African American tenure-track faculty member. That state of affairs is taken for granted, but it should be regarded as shameful.
At Stanford University in the late 1980s, I was the first tenure-track woman hired in physics; the applied physics department and SLAC still had none. Yet my appointment (granted to increase diversity in the physics department) immediately made the percentage of female physics faculty at Stanford well above the national average. At that time, having no women in a physics department was viewed as normal.

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