The University of Pittsburgh is seeking an assistant professor for its political science department — one who deals with the “subfield” of structural racism, oppression and the black political experience … “conceived domestically, comparatively, or globally.”
According to the job posting, the university “encourages” applications from academics involved with
… problems of racial oppression and racialized inequalities and hierarchies – in race and ethnic politics, in political behavior, in political economy, in international and transnational politics, in global or domestic institutions (of the US or other countries), as well as any other topic related to our theme (including inequalities in cities, health, education, and technology).
The posting also notes that “in the coming years” the (poli-sci) department wants to add three hires for its “University Race and Social Determinants of Equity and Well-being Cluster Hire and Retention Initiative.” This would be coordinated with a cluster in “Race Representation, and Anti-Black and Systemic Racism.”
Some of the “desirable research and teaching interests” Pitt seeks in interested applicants include “race and ethnic politics, identity, democratic behavior, activism and collective action […] technology policy or algorithmic bias, environmental justice [and] post-colonialism/post-imperialism.”
Applicants should have a “demonstrated ability” in “high quality scholarship” as well as creating an “inclusive climate” which “attracts and retains” students from all backgrounds. They also must submit a diversity statement described as a “brief description of how [their] research, teaching or service demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
Mandatory diversity statements have faced challenges at other academic institutions; at UC Berkeley, for instance, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation said that school’s requirement has “several serious constitutional problems.” At UC Davis, hundreds of academics signed on to a letter supporting a math professor who had written an op-ed denouncing mandatory diversity statements in her field.
On the other side of the country, Harvard Distinguished Service Professor and Higginson Professor of Physiology and Medicine Jeffrey Flier called diversity statements “an affront to academic freedom” and said they “diminish the true value of diversity, equity of inclusion by trivializing it.”
Pitt notes at the end of the job posting that it is an “Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer” and “values equality of opportunity [and] human dignity.”
h/t to Mark Perry