The UNT Department of Computer Science and Engineering was recently named among four cohorts who are collectively working to increase the number of faculty from underrepresented communities in the fields of computer science and computer engineering.

According to the current Computing Research Association Taulbee Survey, conducted annually since 1974, only 5.3 percent of the faculty at doctoral-granting universities are from the following underrepresented communities: Black or African-American, Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaska Native.

"It’s very important that we continue to diversify the faculty in the computer science and computer engineering fields so we can provide an environment that is inclusive. Bringing together diverse perspectives in research and education better serves current and future students and improves our departmental programs and policies," said Stephanie Ludi, interim chair of UNT’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

UNT is among the third cohort, which includes eight institutions that have a history of graduating doctoral students who identify as underrepresented minorities and is focused on encouraging these graduates to pursue academic careers.

"As part of the initiative, UNT doctoral students will receive support in their academic journey and mentoring about faculty careers," said Barrett Bryant, College of Engineering associate dean for faculty affairs. "Recruiting diverse students within the field is crucial for increasing diversity in faculty, and I’m excited to see this endeavor move forward."

The effort is part of a NSF Broadening Participation in Computing Alliance grant, awarded to the University Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Georgia Institute and Technology.