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DEI statement mandatory for Bates College earth science faculty applicants

Candidates with ‘demonstrated commitment to the success of historically underrepresented, marginalized and first-generation students’ encouraged to apply

Applicants for a “Visiting Assistant Professor in Earth and Climate Sciences,” faculty role at Bates College must submit an “equity and inclusion” statement in order to be considered.

They should also be familiar with “inclusive pedagogies” according to the job description posted on The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“Candidates with a demonstrated commitment to the success of historically underrepresented, marginalized and first-generation students are encouraged to apply,” for the job, which starts on August 1.

“Evidence of the candidate’s past and potential contributions to equity and inclusion should be addressed either in a separate, additional document, or integrated into the teaching and research statements,” according to the job description for the private college in Lewiston, Maine.

The college also wants applicants who are from “underrepresented groups” and “individuals who have followed non-traditional pathways to higher education due to societal, economic, or academic disadvantages.”

Bates College representatives did not respond to email and phone requests for comment on how the DEI statement is weighted in the hiring rubric. The College Fix also asked for examples of how a professor would use DEI in the classroom.

The college did not respond to a June 17 email follow-up, after identifying a technical problem with this reporter’s email address.

Free speech group warns of ‘significant danger’ from DEI statements

Mandatory DEI statements undermine the idea of academic freedom, according to a national free speech group.

There is a “significant danger with requiring DEI statements for job openings,” Daniel Ortner, with the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression told The Fix via email.

“[C]ampuses should allow candidates to teach and research without needing to pass an ideological litmus test just to get their foot in the door,” Ortner said.

Colleges should recognize “these statements are antithetical to their mission to pursue truth and protect academic freedom,” Ortner told The Fix.

These policies in higher education “threaten employment or advancement for faculty holding dissenting views,” he said. “Faculty that express disagreement with the university’s preferred DEI viewpoints may be excluded from consideration–and on some campuses without even a review of the rest of the application.”

Not only are these policies dangerous, but they are also, “unfortunately, common,” Ortner said.

However, “we are seeing some very positive trends as well,” he said.

He cited Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s ban on DEI statements in faculty hiring, as well as similar announcements from the University of North Carolina system and the University of Wyoming.

Other schools have required DEI statements for applicants. Eastern Washington University requires janitors to submit DEI statements.

The University of California Davis asks breast cancer surgeon applicants to submit DEI statements as well. However, the academic position does not require applicants to submit teaching and research statements. Those are optional, as reported by The Fix.

And Nebraska Wesleyan University mandates them for costume library manager applicants, as previously reported by The Fix.

Other universities incorporate DEI throughout their departments, including Columbia University. The Ivy League university’s Earth observatory has its own DEI team, as previously reported by The Fix.

MORE: 33% of federal financial aid goes to negative ROI degrees

IMAGE:Евгений Харитонов/Getty Images with College Fix edits

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Daisy Roser is a student at The Master's University where she studies creative writing and publishing. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Charter Oak State College.