The forced resignation of the University of Missouri's president this week — and the choice of a black administrator to temporarily replace him — underscored a broader struggle within higher education to recruit leaders who reflect an increasingly diverse student population, NBC News reported.
Mizzou's governing board appointed Michael Middleton as interim president of the four-school system after Tim Wolfe quit under pressure from activists who said he didn't adequately respond to complaints of racism at the university's flagship campus in Columbia.
From 1996 to 2012, college enrollment among young blacks rose 72 percent, and more than tripled among Hispanics, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census data. At last count, in 2013, black students made up about 14 percent of nationwide enrollment, and Hispanics 15 percent, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.
But among full-time faculty, black people comprise just 5.4 percent, and Hispanics 4.1 percent, NCES data show.