Bayer: Universities fall short of minorities as sci-tech graduates
More than one-third of the nation's top 200 research universities have poor records for retaining and graduating minority students, according to a survey released Wednesday by Bayer Corp.
According to the Robinson-based company's poll of department heads at those schools, 37 percent gave their institutions a "C" or lower grade for how well they retain and graduate black, Hispanic and Native American students. Twelve percent ranked majority male recruiting/graduating records as poor, and only 14 percent said the same regarding females.
Bayer surveyed 413 heads at departments of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which Bayer calls "STEM" fields. The science education poll, subtitled, " A View from the Gatekeepers," is Bayer's fifth survey on diversity representation in the sciences.
"For Bayer, these issues are critical," said Bayer CEO Greg Babe, of the survey findings on female and minority students. The company's businesses, he said, "can only succeed if they have access to a highly skilled STEM work force."
Among factors deterring minority students from pursuing STEM studies in college, according to the survey:
-- 32 percent of faculty heads cited "limited quality" college-prep in STEM fields
-- 17 percent cited a "lack of role models"
-- 10 percent said "their cultural background doesn't value science (and/or) the pursuit of science."
Although 84 percent of those polled found minority and female recruiting and retention to be a key issue for their universities, only one-third of them said their universities had comprehensive plans to recruit and retain minority and female students in STEM studies.
"The bottom line (is) university leadership must act," said Rebecca Lucore, executive director of the Bayer USA Foundation.
Bayer has backed science education several ways for years, said spokesman Bryan Iams. Its foundation founded a Pittsburgh-based program called Asset in 1992, which shows instructors how to teach science using hands-on learning techniques. Bayer did not disclose funding amounts.
In addition, Bayer has has spent "multi-millions over the years" on its "Making Science Make Sense" program, which brings volunteers into classrooms K through 12 to teach science, said Iams. Founded in Pittsburgh 15 years ago, the program now is national in scope.Additional Information:
Top faculty poll: Do university science, technology, engineering and math students enter college with adequate academic preparation?
For female students: 82% yes / 14% no / 4% unsure
For majority students: 74% yes / 20% no / 6% unsure
For minority students: 34% yes / 49% no / 17% unsure
Source: Bayer Corp. survey
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
- Bin Laden relatives among crash casualties
- Western Pa. prosecutors zero in on human trafficking; legislation pending
- Zimbabwe suspends hunts amid outcry over lion’s death
- Snake bites on the rise in Western Pa.
- Mercer Co. woman charged in husband’s shooting death
- Former Steeler Mendenhall relishes writing for HBO’s ‘Ballers’
- Motorcyclist injured in Sewickley Township
- Cooking Class: Tako’s Taco al Pastor
- Road Trip! Destination: Cuyahoga Valley National Park