Members of Harvard Law School student groups want — wait for it! — diversity emphasized in the search for a new dean.
Hoping for a candidate with “professional experience with diversity and inclusion,” the groups are working with the school’s human resources department and the consulting firm (appropriately named) Diversified Search.
The departing dean, Ellen M. Cosgrove, also served as a Law School Title IX officer.
Students who are participating in the search process said last semester’s protests and activism in response to the non-indictment of police officers who killed unarmed black men, Eric Garner and Michael Brown, brought to the forefront the importance of diversity and inclusion at the Law School.
In December, a number of student groups, called the “Harvard Law School Affinity Group Coalition,” co-signed an open letter criticizing Dean of the Law School Martha L. Minow and the Law School administration for their response to the events in Ferguson and Staten Island. Student groups part of the coalition include Harvard Law School Lambda, an LGBTQ group, and Harvard Middle Eastern Law School Students Association, among others.
“That’s something we really think is important, is finding a new dean of students who will make sure the diversity and inclusion issues that Harvard Law students have been expressing are a priority to them,” said Leland S. Shelton, the president of the Harvard Black Law Students Association.
Student leaders from groups that are not part the affinity coalition, including Isabel J. Broer, the president of the Board of Student Advisers, also said issues of diversity and inclusion are primary concerns in the search process.
But “the million dollar question,” as co-president of Students for Inclusion Rena T. Karefa-Johnson says, is “just how to ensure that student concerns convert into an ideal dean of students.”
Really? That seems fairly easy: Just find a candidate who agrees with, and will give you, everything you demand. Isn’t that the way it works today with left-wing university student organizations?