Only 1.25 per cent of academic staff at Lancaster Uni are black

The university have a lot to work on

Following the tragic murder of George Floyd on the 25th of May, UK students have looked to universities across the country to channel the anger of their students.

When the Lancaster Tab criticised Lancaster University’s response to the BLM (Black Lives Matter) campaign, they simply indicated the Instagram stories they had posted.

The Instagram stories consisted of book recommendations explaining white supremacy, identity and race from the perspective of black authors. The SU recommended two books themselves and took suggestions from students. While this is a step in the right direction, this allowed the university deflect attention away from its lack of any meaningful statement.

When compared to responses from other UK universities, Lancaster’s response is hardly forthcoming. In particular, Imperial College London has been commended for issuing a follow up statement detailing how they plan to help abolish anti-Black racism and inequality in the HE sector.

As this shone light on how little Lancaster are doing to support the BAME community, we investigated how many BAME staff the university employs. This wasn’t a straightforward task.

When asked, the university dodged the question replying with a link to the statement from the university. This statement was only posted 15 minutes prior detailing how the university planned to offer support to BAME students. The statement also explained where resources could be found in order to educate students on this subject and encouraged students to “check-in with those who may have been affected.”

When pressed for the answer to the original question, we were sent a link to a webpage containing: the EDI Annual report for 2018-2019; EDI priority objectives for march 2018; an equality, diversity and inclusion plan for 2016-2020; a message from the vice chancellor and a strategic plan for 2020.

Within the EDI annual report for 2018-2019 details on how many BAME staff the university employs can be found. Table 7.A shows that as recent as 2019 only 0.75 percent of all university staff were Black/African/Caribbean/Black British in 2019. A shockingly low figure.

On the next page, Table 7.B shows that only 1.25 per cent of academic roles at the university were filled by Black/African/Caribbean/Black British employees in 2019.

Table 7.C shows that in 2019, 0.4 percent of professional services roles were filled by Black/African/Caribbean/Black British employees in 2019.

Table 7.D shows the gender split within ethnic groups. 0.5 percent of the university’s staff are black females and one percent are black males.

In order to find out exactly how many BAME lecturers this would equate to in real terms it had to be calculated using figures from the university’s annual review for 2019. The university did not provide a total number of staff within this document.

The figures in 2019 suggest that there was 3,027 staff members at the university. Of this number 1,323 were academic staff and the remaining 1,704 were professional services staff.

This means that in 2019 the university employed 22.7 black members of staff in comparison to 2,533.6 white members of staff.

When it comes to academic staff the university employed 16.5 black academics in comparison to 965.7 white academics in 2019. The 0.4 per cent of black people in professional services roles translates into 6.8 black members of staff in comparison to 1,556.9 white members of staff.

Graph based off per 250 employees

Of the 1549 female staff that the university employs 7.7 were black females in comparison to 1,364.7 white female staff. Of the 1478 male staff that the university employs 14.7 are black males in comparison to 1163.2 white male staff.

In the document the university explains that in order to understand “challenges in relation to ethnicity and our ethnicity pay gap” the proportion of staff not disclosing their ethnic status would need to decrease. “Further work is needed to increase the number of staff disclosing their ethnicity status to reduce the number of staff in the ‘unknown’ category.”

When asked one final time for official statistics the university responded by saying: “We won’t be able to provide that information at the moment, several colleagues are on furlough.”

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