Multiple Arizona Universities Require Job Applicants To Pledge Support For Diversity, Equity And Inclusion

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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  • A majority of job postings by public Arizona universities require applicants to submit a detailed report on how committed they are to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • A new Goldwater Institute report found that 80% of job postings from the three universities required applicants to submit a diversity statement.
  • “Public institutions should not be allowed to use these litmus tests to screen out applicants,” Jonathan Butcher, Goldwater Institute senior fellow, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The majority of university job openings in Arizona require applicants to pledge their support for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) during the hiring process, according to a new report published Tuesday by conservative think tank Goldwater Institute.

As of the fall 2022 semester, 80% of job postings for the three major Arizona universities required applicants to submit a statement which outlines their support for DEI, according to The New Loyalty Oaths: How Arizona’s Public Universities Compel Job Applicants to Endorse Progressive Politics.The universities, Arizona State University (ASU), Northern Arizona University (NAU) and University of Arizona (UA), require applicants to explain their activism and commitment to DEI.

ASU required diversity statements for 81% of its job openings. NAU required such statements for 73% of its job openings while UA required them for 28% of their postings. (RELATED: Major Med School Pushes ‘Diversity, Equity And Inclusion’ Requirements For Faculty To Earn Promotion Or Tenure)

“What DEI was supposed to create, it has done the opposite,” Jonathan Butcher, Goldwater Institute senior fellow, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It really wasn’t meant to create an equal feeling on campus. It was meant to push a political agenda.”

ASU implemented diversity statements into its hiring process in 2021 in which it asks applicants to explain how their “past and/or potential contributions to diversity and inclusion will advance ASU’s commitment to inclusive excellence, according to the report.

NAU’s diversity statement requirement elevates its commitment to “becoming a True Diversity University” which “recognizes the importance and critical need for diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice (DEIJ) to be woven throughout the institutional structure.” A fall 2022 job posting for a non-tenure track mechanical engineering assistant teaching professor required applicants submit “a statement of teaching philosophy including evidence of teaching effectiveness or interest and commitment to diversity and inclusion (recommended two pages).”

An UA job posting for a molecular biology assistant professor position asked applicants to submit a 500 word statement “describing the candidate’s personal philosophy on classroom inclusiveness and how the candidate will exhibit the philosophy in the classroom” in lieu of a cover letter, according to the report.

“The examples highlighted from each of the universities were selected to demonstrate how deeply DEI mandates have reached even into fields typically safe from political radicalism,” the report reads. “Perhaps few would be surprised at DEI statements proliferating within typically left-leaning gender or ethnic studies departments. But to make them a prerequisite to teach mechanical engineering or study advanced physics strains any plausible academic justification.”

DEI statements have been widely criticized for allegedly serving as a litmus test to ensure that applicants abide by a particular set of ideologies, according to the report. Critics accuse the practice of violating applicants’ First amendment rights by forcing compelled speech.

The University of California, Berkeley reportedly eliminated more than 75% of its applicants who did not provide a plan on how to advance DEI on campus, according to the report.

“Public institutions should not be allowed to use these litmus tests to screen out applicants,” Butcher told the DCNF. “Applicants should be judged based on their accomplishments, their merit, the judgement of those who are conducting the interview about how capable this person is to prepare students whatever area of study they’re involved in.”

Universities should be prohibited from compelling applicants to express specific viewpoints, he continued.

“Saying that you need to be committed to DEI for some sort of purpose because the institution has taken a position on it is, frankly, wrong,” Butcher said. “No one, no student, school employee, professor … they should not be sanctioned for taking a position that is contrary to a university’s position.”

ASU, NAU and UA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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