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Harvard engineering profs now required to submit diversity reports

New and current faculty at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are now required to submit reports detailing their involvement in “promoting diversity and inclusion.”

Unsatisfactory performance in that realm could affect faculty bonuses, according to The Harvard Crimson.

In addition, applicants for positions at the school must be equipped with a “diversity, inclusion, and belonging statement.”

Keeping with the academic tradition of the alleged benefits of diversity rather nebulous, Harvard SEAS Dean Francis J. Doyle III said in an interview “I have found [diversity] to be a very important thing that we want to use in our recruiting to, again, set the tone that we value this — we think it’s a priority.”

It’s “a very important thing.” Check.

Stupefyingly, Doyle said when it comes to handing out bonuses, diversity will be the main factor taken into consideration. “Other aspects of faculty members’ job performance” (like teaching quality, subject expertise) are secondary.

This is your Ivy League.

From the article:

“In addition to SEAS, I know of a couple of other universities that are moving in similar directions,” [Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Claudine] Gay said. “From the perspective of the FAS, we’re looking at these experiments in the hopes of learning from them and seeing what makes sense for the FAS in terms of our own hiring practices.”

“Certainly one of the many things that we hope the faculty who come here do is find ways to advance inclusion and belonging, because as we know, that is one of the priorities for the FAS and for the University more generally,” Gay added.

Like Doyle, Gay said a number of considerations are taken into account when assigning faculty bonuses at the end of the year, and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion can intersect with each of those considerations.

“When we think about bonuses or acknowledging or rewarding faculty who have had an exceptional year, we look at the full complement of expectations we have for faculty,” Gay said. “Throughout, frankly, all those domains, we think about questions around how this person contributes to our institutional commitment to advance equity, inclusion, and belonging.”

One of the institutions to which Dean Gay may be referring is UCLA. There, professors seeking tenure track positions must provide a statement “on their commitment diversity” which demonstrates a “record of success advising women and minority graduate students.”

Read the Crimson story.

MORE: Yale announces diversity initiatives after ‘napping while black’ incident

MORE: Universities require scholars pledge commitment to diversity

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.