More about University of California diversity oaths

Details continue to emerge about the University of California’s use of mandatory diversity statements in faculty hiring (earlier here, etc.) In Berkeley life sciences hiring “diversity statements were used at the outset of searches to eliminate candidates.. … No matter how good your scholarship, if you didn’t pass the diversity [advocacy] cutoff (a score of 11 in the second search), you were toast.” [Jerry Coyne; John Cochrane]

“UC Berkeley has publicized its rubric for assessing peoples’ diversity and inclusion statements. You get 5 points for ‘Clear and detailed ideas for…advancing equity and inclusion…through their research, teaching, and/or service.’ Note word ‘research’.” [Agnes Callard] What if you embark on research that bears on questions of equity and inclusion but it reaches findings that do not advance the cause?

UCLA law professor Stephen Bainbridge, a friend of this site, recently chose to submit and publish a diversity statement emphasizing his efforts to foster a more ideologically diverse atmosphere at his UC campus — testing whether diversity as such, or only some manifestations of it, are the goal [AEI “Carpe Diem”] It caused a stir [Bainbridge blog, reactions and emails; some faculty at campuses like UC Davis have begun to push back] Given that UC is a public university, the prospects for a legal challenge appear strong, and there is interest in mounting a suit [Brian Leiter]

Meanwhile at the national and federal level, a $241 million cluster-hire grant program from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “is requiring every candidate to prove that they have already promoted diversity”; among those who may lose out are “minority candidates who have been doing things other than ‘changing the culture'” [Jerry Coyne]


  • “What if you embark on research that bears on questions of equity and inclusion but it reaches findings that do not advance the cause?”
    I’ve never heard a clear description of this cause, in spite of the decades of spending, hiring, and subjective decisions. These rules should be rubbished for vagueness or quantified. Letting this b.s. free-float just encourages corruption of thinking and institutions.
    I know transparency is antithetical to educrats. But they ask us to take it on faith that their diversity business is worth supporting.

  • Almost 30 years ago I was VP of underwriting for a major national insurance company. At that time, the company had embarked on a plan to hire more management-track minority individuals who were graduating from top colleges and universities. I mean, top. Hey, good on us, right? Yes, it was a smart thing to do. .

    One of the company’s outreach efforts was to bring candidates – at our expense – to our head office for a day of information-sharing. As a VP, I usually attended the breakfast meeting on the first day, then met candidates expressing an interest in underwriting (yeah, I know) and introduced them to members of my staff for short 1-1 meetings during the rest of the day.

    An indelible memory of those times was the breakfast meetings, during which one of our earnest HR folks would invariably stress the company’s commitment to diversity. To an audience of 100% black and Hispanic candidates.

    I thought that odd, even a bit embarrassing. The chief of Marketing (and my best friend in the company) agreed. He was a black man. He and I both tried each year to persuade HR this use of the term “diversity” was not only irrelevant to this group of talented individuals, but condescending as well. HR would not be moved.

  • It is a political test, pure and simple, of your dedication to advancing “social justice.” Whatever social justice means, it is not “justice,” or there would be no need for the first word in the phrase.