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Duke Workforce Demographics: Asian Population Growing

Duke Workforce Demographics: Asian Population Growing

Eight percent of Duke's employee population is Asian, higher than the percentage in Durham County and the state

Like other states across the country, North Carolina's Hispanic population has seen incredible growth, more than doubling in size between 2000 and 2010. At Duke, another group has seen its number grow fast.

Faculty and staff identifying as Asian represent the third largest employee demographic on campus behind those recognizing themselves as white or black, according to Duke Human Resources. Hispanic comes in fourth. Duke has 109 employees identiyfing as multi-racial.

Asians comprise 8 percent of Duke's employee population, which is higher than Asian residents in Durham County (5 percent) and North Carolina (2 percent). In 2003, Asians comprised 5.5 percent of Duke's faculty and staff.

Li-Chen Chin, director of intercultural programs for Duke Student Affairs, said growth in an Asian employee population mirrors that of undergraduate students, 21 percent who identify as Asian-American. Asians are typically found among faculty ranks in higher education, but Duke's growth of Asian employees includes an effort to increase Asian staff members, Chin said.

"Diversity is one of the core values of Duke," she said. "Growing the number of minority employees only helps to offer the best faculty and staff for a diverse group of students we serve."

Ben Reese, vice president and chief diversity officer with the Office of Institutional Equity, said that having a diverse workforce is important to offering a broad range of prospective, viewpoints and ideas.

"As important as the diversity of our workforce is to success in today's work, it's equally important for us to create the type of environment where all individuals have the opportunity for professional growth, development and full participation in the workplace," Reese said. "Inclusion speaks to this effort to fully utilize talents of everyone in our workforce."

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While this article calls out the "strength" of Duke's employee population of Asians in comparison to local population, I'm wondering why there isn't any mention about how much lower the percentages of Hispanic and African-American employees are than their corresponding local populations.  While I'm sure that Duke would refer to itself as an international employer, only tiny segments of Duke employees are recruited widely.  It seems that African American and Hispanic employee populations should comprise a significantly larger portion of Duke's workforce and be much closer to their percentages among the local population.

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