Institutional Background

Photo: Two scientists perform experiment together.

SF State serves one of the nation’s most ethnically and culturally diverse student populations. As a minority-serving institution of higher education, SF State serves 29,465 students (Fall 2014 enrollment data). SF State is currently the 88th largest public college in the U.S. and has a long-standing commitment to attracting, retaining and graduating a highly diverse student body. Of the students reporting their ethnicity in Fall 2014, 75% identify with an ethnic category other than "White, Non-Latino.”

Although we have a very diverse student population, the faculty on our campus are less diverse. However, among the CSU campuses, SFSU ranks second with regards to faculty diversity. The number of women faculty in STEM and *SBS departments at SF State varies significantly depending on their rank. At the assistant professor level, the overall number of women faculty is above 50%. However, the number of women at this level in STEM appears to have dropped for some period of time and recently increased to levels comparable to those in 2004. At the associate level, there is a clear decrease in the number of women STEM faculty compared to those in SBS which show a steady increase. At the rank of full professor there appears to be no significant change in the last 10 years with the number of full professors in SBS and STEM approximately 25%. 

The College of Science and Engineering (COSE) houses the majority of STEM faculty. Census data from 2014 reveals the presence of women faculty in this college, but the number of women in each department varies considerably. There is some progress in recruiting women to the field of the sciences; however progress for women entering the academic ranks for some departments has been slow. Therefore, there is a need to understand the barriers for women faculty with respect to retention and progress towards tenure and promotion at SF State.

*SBS departments: Psychology, Anthropology, Archeology, Economics, Geography, International Relations, Linguistics, Philosophy of Science, Political Science, Sociology, Urban Planning.