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Campuses continue diversity hires while collecting coronavirus bailout money

‘Implement and embed inclusive excellence in all university endeavors’

Some schools across the country have continued to hire a multitude of diversity administrators and czars even as they accept millions and millions of dollars in coronavirus bailout money from the federal government.

Campus Reform reports that schools in Tennessee, Massachusetts and Texas have all recently announced new hires of diversity administrators over the past few weeks.

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville, for instance, said on Thursday that it had just hired a “director of diversity and community relations” in order to “provide strategic leadership in creating an integrated vision and shared responsibility for facilitating the college’s diversity goals and for fostering and supporting a campus culture that respects and appreciates individual differences.”

That school is receiving $20 million from the federal CARES Act. Around half of those funds are earmarked to be distributed to students whose semesters were disrupted by the shutdown of the campus last month.

Salem State University in Massachusetts, meanwhile—a school that will receive around $6.5 million from the federal government—said earlier this month that it was adding a new vice president of diversity and inclusion to its employment roster. The pandemic “present[s] an opportunity to reflect on our broad commitments to inclusion and engagement,” the vice president said after being hired.

The position will “implement and embed inclusive excellence in all university endeavors,” the school said.

The University of Texas – San Antonio will receive a whopping near-$30 million under the CARES Act, and it too just recently announced a new diversity hire:

On Friday, the university made an announcement promoting the recent hirings of Norma Guerra, who will be the interim associate vice provost for faculty diversity, and Roger Enriquez, who will be in charge of the Westside Community Partnership as the executive director.

The university characterized Guerra’s job as “advancing institutional goals to increase faculty from underrepresented groups and, in particular, to promote the success of faculty who identify as Hispanic/Latino.”  Enriquez will be tasked with “implement community-focused practices and processes that provide demonstrated benefit to our Hispanic communities.”

“Dr. Guerra has a strong understanding of how faculty success supports student success as well as a vision for encouraging a climate of inclusion that is so critical to attracting and retaining Hispanic and other underrepresented faculty,” stated senior vice president for academic affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy.

The government allocated around $14 billion of the CARES Act for American institutions of higher education. The funds are being distributed to schools automatically, with the amount based on the number of students enrolled in the institution.

Read Campus Reform‘s report here.

MORE: Princeton and Harvard say they won’t accept millions in coronavirus relief funding

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