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University of California develops ‘anti-racism’ job performance review

Employees can be labeled resister or ‘champion’

The University of California system has developed a job performance review that supervisors can use to foster “anti-racism learning and reflection” among employees.

The review provides 10 anti-racist principles and practices with a 1 to 5 scale that people can toggle from that ranges from “resists” on one end to “champions” on the other.

The review seeks to establish “guiding anti-racism principles and practices that can be applied uniformly across the UC system by leaders, supervisors and managers to better communicate and carry out anti-racist core values and cultivate a climate of belonging for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) staff members,” the system’s website states.

According to a version of the tool available through the UC Berkeley website, the review is meant for all employees, offering “faculty,” “staff” and “other” as available options.

A reviewee or supervisor is asked how much an employee resists or embraces each of the 10 listed anti-racist principles or practices, which are:

Actively embraces and engages in personal professional development to lead BIPOC supervisees.

Promotes inclusion of racially diverse voices in working groups

Cultivates psychological safety for BIPOC staff on their team

Builds understanding of racial microaggressions and takes steps to eliminate them from the workplace.

Recognizes BIPOC staff contributions.

Develops BIPOC staff in ways that acknowledge their unique context.

Incorporates understanding of racism, discrimination and allyship into leadership, attending to our multicultural, global staff’s learning needs.

Ensures anti-racist workload is equitably distributed.

Embraces best practices in hiring and onboarding BIPOC staff

Promotes wellness and self-care among BIPOC staff and managers

If a reviewee “resists anti-racist practices,” this may be because they actively engage in racism, according to the job performance criteria, which states analyses such as:

“Excludes or doesn’t credit contributions from BIPOC staff and/or perpetuates a climate of exclusion based on racial identities.”

“Excludes BIPOC staff from group/team communication.”

However, a reviewee scored as someone who “resists” also may simply be dismissive about microaggressions or wish to remain neutral on matters of race:

“Not receptive to feedback about microaggressions or becomes defensive.”

“[M]ay promote concepts such as ‘colorblindness.’”

Upon the completion of the evaluation, it is suggested the reviewee and the reviewer discuss areas of strength and growth before “develop[ing] one or two specific objectives and metrics that are associated with the selected practice area(s) and reflective of the reviewee’s ongoing work.”

Part of the goal is to help the employee become someone who “Champions Anti-Racist Practices,” officials stated. The document provides descriptions of several practices embraced by such champions, such as “actively promotes staff development regarding anti-racist communication” and “advocates for protocols that enhance achievement of racial diversity goals.”

However, the document does not explicitly state what should or would happen to an employee or job applicant who “Resists Anti-Racism Practices” by being dismissive of microaggressions or promoting concepts of colorblindness, for example.

The version of the tool available through the UC Berkeley website states the outcome of the evaluation is not intended as a value judgment.

“The primary purpose is to spur conversation about practices that dismantle institutional racism and to help identify areas of future growth and development for supervisors of staff with the bold ultimate goal of creating an anti-racist workplace at the University of California,” it states.

Yet, if the results of an evaluation using the tool are ultimately used for purposes related to hiring or promotion, that would suggest that “the outcome” could in fact have professional consequences, once more raising the question of what happens to those who fundamentally disagree with some of the anti-racist principles upon which the tool is based or the suggestion that promoting them is inherently part of every UC employee’s job description.

The College Fix sought clarification on this matter, as well as on how widely used the tool has become since its development, from Yvette Gullatt, vice provost for equity, diversity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer for UC system. She did not respond.

Renee Navarro, vice chancellor of diversity and outreach at UC San Francisco, and Renetta Tull, vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion at UC Davis, who are listed as sponsors of the project, also did not respond to requests for comment from The College Fix.

MORE: California professors instructed not to say ‘America is the land of opportunity’

IMAGE: UC system screenshots

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About the Author
College Fix contributor Daniel Nuccio holds master's degrees in both psychology and biology. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in biology at Northern Illinois University where he is studying the impact of social isolation on host-microbe interactions and learning new coding techniques to integrate into his research.