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Costume library manager applicants must submit DEI statements at Nebraska Wesleyan

Every job opening requires DEI statement

Aspiring part-time costume library managers at Nebraska Wesleyan University must show their commitment to diversity in order to get hired.

The open position “will oversee both the Nebraska Wesleyan University costumes and props libraries and coordinate efforts to make sure the costumes and props are available to internal and external customers and patrons,” according to the university listing.

Since “diversity” is a “source of strength,” at the college in Lincoln, “[a]pplicants are encouraged to demonstrate how they are able to enhance and embrace this University core value in a diversity statement submitted as part of their application materials,.”

Though that portion says applicants are “encouraged,” the “How to Apply” section specifically asks for a “diversity statement.”

Their goal is to ensure “an environment of belonging,” according to the university.

The statements “ensure that the values of the institute and the candidate’s align with each other in order to foster an environment of belonging for students and employees of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds,” the university’s public relations director Kellan Heavican told The College Fix via email.

“NWU’s mission statement includes several core values including diversity, which is to help broaden perspectives on humanity and its diverse cultural expression locally, nationally, and internationally,” Heavican said.

He did not directly respond to The Fix’s questions about when diversity statements became mandatory and if they could dissuade qualified non-minority or right-leaning candidates.

NWU’s current president, Darrin Good, has described himself as a “champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion” with a commitment to “the essential work to make Nebraska Wesleyan a welcoming community for everyone” and “to create a learning environment with diverse opinions and perspectives.”

The university’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion also states that “before Good was hired, the presidential search committee determined that NWU’s 17th president should prioritize authentic growth toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus.”

As of May 20, each of the fifteen job openings listed, ranging from the costume manager job to associate professor of mathematics and computer science to dean of graduate programs and strategic partnerships, require the submission of a diversity statement in addition to other common requirements such as a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and references.

MORE: Study claims ‘racism’ drives opposition to DEI statements

The university also promotes DEI through other programs, such as Diversity Awards to “honor students, staff, and faculty members who raise awareness about a need, problem, or opportunity regarding issues of diversity and inclusion on campus” and a Bias Education Response Team to “investigate claims” of bias incidents or hate crimes.

It also hosts a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee, which includes subcommittees focusing on such areas as Institutional Policies, Inclusive Pedagogy, Cultural Competency Development, and Recruitment and Retention of Diverse Groups.

There is also an “Intersectionality Resource Center.”

The Nebraska university is not the only school to require job applicants to submit diversity statements.

Eastern Washington University mandates them for every job, including janitors.

The University of California Davis requires them for surgical oncologists and all faculty positions, despite keeping statements of teaching and research optional.

Universities are also hiring DEI managers for various academic and extracurricular programs.

The University of Michigan has a DEI manager for its botanical garden, as reported by The Fix.

Columbia University also has a three person “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” team for its Earth Observatory, as reported by The Fix.

MORE: MIT bans mandatory DEI statements for hiring

IMAGE: Sisoje/Getty Images; College Fix edits

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Maria Thomas is a student at Indiana University double-majoring in marketing and public policy analysis. On campus, she is president of the Thomistic Institute and co-president of Students for Life. She also contributes to The Collegiate Commons.