California University Ranked Job Applicants Based On Their Commitment To Diversity, Docs Show

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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The University of California at Berkeley ranked its job applicants based on their commitment to furthering diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), according to documents obtained through a Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) public records request.

In 2018, the University of California at Berkeley’s life services department launched an “initiative to advance faculty diversity, equity and inclusion,” which included rubrics to evaluate staff candidate’s “contributions to diversity” statements and research, according to a press release. The 2018 rubric from the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare ranked faculty candidates lower if they were “uncomfortable discussing diversity-related issues,” and gave a higher ranking if candidates viewed DEI as a core value others should help advance, according to documents obtained through a FIRE public records request. (RELATED: Red State Gov Signs Bill Banning Diversity Offices, Initiatives At Higher Education Institutions)

Staff candidates received lower scores on the rubric if they did not appear to feel any “personal responsibility” to help eliminate barriers, the documents showed.

“For example, [the candidate] may state that it’s better not to have outreach or affinity groups aimed at underrepresented individuals because it keeps them separate from everyone else, or will make them feel less valued,” the rubric stated. 

Candidates were given a lower ranking if they had no experience “advancing DEI,” and if their only prior experience included activities which “were oriented toward informing oneself,” the documents showed. The highest ranking was awarded to faculty who had a “consistent [DEI] track record,” and have “spoken at workshops or other events aimed at increasing others’ understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

[YouTube | Screenshot: Fox 2]

[YouTube | Screenshot: Fox 2]

Faculty candidates were given 1-2 points if they had “vague or no statements” about how they would advance DEI at Berkeley if they were hired, the rubric showed. The most points, 5, were awarded if faculty candidates had “clear and detailed ideas” about how they would advance equity and inclusion at the institution.

Candidates were ranked the highest if they intended to be a “strong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion” within the institution, the rubric stated.

Across the country higher education institutions are using diversity statements to judge student and staff applicants; departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz require applicants to submit a statement detailing their past contributions to advancing DEI. In May 2022, the Indiana University School of Medicine updated its standards to require staff looking to be tenured to “show effort toward advancing DEI.”

The University of California Berkeley did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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