Harvard’s Largest Faculty Department Ditches Hiring Mandate Compelling Applicants Pledge Allegiance To Diversity

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) announced Monday to staff that it was changing its hiring requirements to no longer include a diversity, inclusion and belonging statement, according to the Boston Globe.

FAS, which is the university’s largest department, has required diversity statements for new hires for the past five years, according to the Boston Globe. Staff and faculty learned this week, however, that the school was dropping the requirement and would now ask applicants to tenure-track positions for a “service statement” that “describes efforts to strengthen academic communities, e.g. department, institution, and/or professional societies.” (RELATED: Majority Of Colleges Tie Diversity, Equity And Inclusion To Graduation Requirements: REPORT)

Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School, wrote in an op-ed for the Harvard Crimson, a student newspaper, in April that he believed it was time for the university to do away with the requirement.

“Candidates for academic positions at Harvard should not be asked to support ideological commitments,” Kennedy wrote. “Imagine the howl of protest that would (or should) erupt if a school at Harvard asked a candidate for a faculty position to submit a statement of their orientation towards capitalism, or patriotism, or Making America Great Again with a clear expectation of allegiance? Such pressure constitutes an encroachment upon the intellectual freedom that ought to be part of the enjoyment of academic life.”

Many schools have faced criticism over their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies in recent months, and some have made similar decisions to Harvard’s by eliminating their diversity regulations and departments. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) also banned diversity statements in applications for faculty in April, with President Sally Kornbluth previously telling the Daily Caller News Foundation that “compelled statements impinge on freedom of expression.”

FSA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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