The Problem with Mandated Diversity Statements in Faculty Hiring and Promotion
This is the fourth in a series of five guest posts we are publishing this week as the co-authors of a new book from Oxford University Press titled “Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education.” The previous guest posts from this series can be found here, and here, and here.
One of the trends among institutions of higher education is to require applicants for faculty positions, as well as already-hired faculty who are up for internal promotions, to submit a statement documenting their contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). UCLA, which is one such institution, provides a list of examples of relevant activities that can be cited in an EDI statement.
The examples, which fall under the categories of teaching, research, professional activity, and university and public service, include “Teaching at a minority-serving institution,” “Developing effective teaching strategies for the educational advancement of students from under-represented groups,” “Studying patterns of participation and advancement of women and minorities in fields where they are underrepresented,” and “Presentations or performances for under-represented communities.”
As we explain in the book, these are all worthy endeavors. But they also function as a filter that itself is exclusionary, as it favors faculty and would-be-faculty whose academic research happens to involve activities that can be cited in a diversity statement. And what about the candidates who are doing research that doesn’t focus on such activities
Article from Latest – Reason.com