‘A community call’: HUBBA demands faculty diversity in Haas School of Business

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The Haas Undergraduate Black Business Association, or HUBBA, demands Haas School of Business to increase Black representation in faculty by hiring three Black faculty members before the end of the school year and adding a student as a voting member on the hiring committee.

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In a petition published July, the Haas Undergraduate Black Business Association, or HUBBA, demanded Haas School of Business to make tangible efforts to increase Black representation in faculty, among other goals.

HUBBA is calling on the school of business to hire three Black faculty members before the end of the school year, according to HUBBA President Sophanit Getahoun.

“This is a community call for Haas to put their Black students first,” Getahoun said. “They claim to have an unequivocal commitment to foster diversity, equity and inclusion. However, they have failed on their promise.”

According to the petition, HUBBA is also demanding for the school of business to create a paid student task force committed to the retention and recruitment “of underrepresented talent.” Additionally, HUBBA seeks transparency in the hiring process by adding a student as a voting member on the hiring committee.

Currently, the school of business relies on three diversity, equity and inclusion consultations from Black and Latinx students — an “emotional labor” that other students do not have to shoulder, Getahoun noted.

“A lot of people are finally being aware of what a lot of Black people go through and understanding the necessity of diverse perspectives in the workplace and classroom,” said campus sophomore Tsadiku Obolu.

As of press time, 354 people have signed the petition, including Obolu. According to Obolu, most of the coursework he has encountered from the business school has not been centered around Black students, and connecting with professors can be difficult due to cultural differences.

HUBBA senior advisor Cheukai Makari also noted the scarcity of Black professors among the business school’s faculty.

“Me and my peers are not hearing from the perspective of Black America,” Makari said. “I’m about to leave the school and I’m sitting here thinking my only Black professors have been from my other major.”

About one month after the petition was released, the business school published a press release welcoming 10 new professors — none of which were Black, Getahoun noted. This news felt like a “blatant disregard” for their demands, Makari said.

According to school of business spokesperson Kim Girard, the assistant dean of the undergraduate program has met and will continue to meet with student group leaders to discuss faculty diversity.

“A follow up meeting is being scheduled to continue discussion and educate students on administrative process so that, together, they can identify gaps and effective measures where students can lend their voice,” Girard said in an email.

Girard added the business school is “actively working” toward diversifying faculty. Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Élida Bautista has secured a grant that will be partially used for this purpose, Girard said.

According to Getahoun, the business school continues to uphold the status quo by not listening to the demands of their Black students.

“The Black students on campus — we’ve had enough,” Getahoun said. “We’re going to continue to demand that we’re able to be safe on the campus, to be able to be seen on the campus and to be able to feel heard.”

Kelly Suth is the lead race and diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @kellyannesuth.