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Harvard Kennedy School to undertake ‘unconscious bias and micro-messaging’ training

The Harvard Kennedy School will begin training its senior administrators in “unconscious bias” and “micro-messaging” due to it being accused of lacking sufficient diversity.

The Crimson reports the draft of a new report shows a steady decline in African-American, “Hispanic-American” (quotes in the original), and Asian students in the HKS’s Masters in Public Policy program, its largest degree program, between 2005 and 2015.

Similar declines are evident among faculty and staff. The Kennedy School had on staff only two tenured African-American and Hispanic professors respectively in 2017. This is out of a total of fifty-five.

And — uh-oh — the school saw some “high profile” exits of “women of color” including Alexandra Martinez, the assistant dean for diversity and inclusion, who cited “lack of support” for her departure.

From the story:

One of the main recommendations of the task force report called on the school to hire an “associate dean for diversity, inclusion, and belonging.” After an eight-month search process, the school hired Robbin Chapman, who assumed the role in April 2018. Chapman has begun meeting with senior staff, leaders of the school’s various research centers, and students. …

Another recommendation of the task force was to regularly collect and analyze demographic information about Kennedy School affiliates in order to mark progress. [Kennedy School Dean Douglas W.] Elmendorf said another report will come out next week.

“This report is meant to have the framework for presenting information that we hope to use in future years as well,” Elmendorf said. “We’ve been busy.”

Chapman has begun to run trainings with senior leaders, department heads, and directors of the 11 research centers at HKS. These trainings — centered around topics like unconscious bias — require participants to complete homework in preparation for future sessions to “understand how to better support the community as it begins its learning,” Chapman said.

If there was any evidence needed to demonstrate how utterly vacuous university “diversity” positions are, just consider that last sentence above.

MORE: COURAGEOUS: Harvard faculty unanimously support diversity

MORE: Harvard alters school song due to diversity concerns

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