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Memphis College Offers Bounty For Black Teachers, Nuns

November 16, 1987

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ A Roman Catholic college is making bounty hunters of its employees in an effort to recruit blacks and nuns for its staff.

Christian Brothers College is offering employees $1,000 rewards for each black or nun recruited for the faculty or administration.

″We’ve gone through the usual methods of advertising and have utilized traditional recruitment methods. We haven’t been very successful,″ said Sandi Mayo, college personnel director.

Brother Theodore Drahmann, the school’s president, said the drive is part of a five-year development plan, but this is the fifth year, and the college has no nuns and only one black on its 80-member full-time faculty.

Only four of the 40 employees on the administrative staff are black, he said.

Drahmann said Christian Brothers is hard pressed to compete with larger colleges for black faculty members.

″Clearly, if you want to hire black faculty, the pool is small,″ said Paul Goodwin of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Washington. ″Competition is stiff for minority faculty.″

Education officials say the lure of well-paying jobs in business and cutbacks in federal money for student loans that allow the pursuit of advanced degrees have worsened the situation.

In addition, the number of women entering the church has declined in recent years, and many nuns belong to orders that have colleges of their own, Drahmann said.

Drahmann said he wants to add blacks to the faculty to better reflect the racial makeup of the 1,740-member student body, which is just over 19 percent black.

William J. Busler, a chemistry professor, said the rewards, intended to encourage staff involvement in ending the minority shortage, may not be the best approach.

″I agree with the goals, and I think everybody here does,″ Busler said. ″But the whole bounty-hunting idea ... looks like there’s no other way to get them but to put a price on their heads.″

Rewards also make it appear that the faculty wouldn’t cooperate without extra pay, he said.

To collect a reward, a school employee must direct recruiters to a person who agrees to join the administrative staff or faculty for at least a year. The reward is paid after the new employee has been on the job for 30 days.

Drahmann said the personnel department came up with the plan. ″But if it works out, I’m sure people are smart enough to pick up on a good idea,″ he said.

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