There’s no indication so far that Hofstra did anything wrong, besides hiring too few non-white people and too few female adjunct faculty.
Standard 206 is the ABA’s Diversity and Inclusion standard. Subparagraph 206(b) reads:
(b) Consistent with sound educational policy and the Standards, a law school shall demonstrate by concrete action a commitment to diversity and inclusion by having a faculty and staff that are diverse with respect to gender, race, and ethnicity.
What exactly did Hofstra do wrong?
The ABA council decision notice doesn’t say, other than the claim of non-compliance. According to Hofstra’s Standard 509 Information Report, five of 47 full-time faculty, and seven of 81 part-time faculty, are “people of color.” Gender balance for full-time faculty seems ok – 24 of its 47 full-time faculty members, or just over half, are women. But only 24 of 81 part-time faculty members are women. As far as the ABA decision notice seems to indicate, the bare numbers are all that figured into its decision, although it’s possible Hofstra received a more detailed explanation.
The ABA has asked Hofstra to submit a written report explaining its failure to be diverse and inclusive, and to appear in person at the ABA’s August 2023 meeting.
The Law School has been asked to submit a report by March 31, 2023, and to appear before the Council at its August 17-19, 2023, meeting. The Council will consider the written report at its May 11-13, 2023, meeting. If the information provided in the written report demonstrates compliance with the Standard listed above, then the Council will find the Law School to be in compliance with the Standards and cancel the hearing.
The decision notice doesn’t say what Hofstra needs to do to be in compliance. Would the ABA find the school compliant if the numbers don’t change? Or is this a poorly-veiled threat to hire more “diverse” faculty fast?
With accreditors like this, it’s surprising that universities don’t approach all faculty searches these days with a “no white men need apply” attitude. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin? American universities act as though they never heard of it. The Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, guaranteeing that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”? Today, many state universities act as though it doesn’t exist. When it comes to treating all races equally, in 2022 America, some races are more equal than others (as Orwell would have said).
Hofstra should thank its stars that the ABA didn’t move forward (yet?) with proposed revisions to 206 that would have made the standard even more extreme. The proposal – which LIF President William Jacobson opposed in a comment letter – would have imposed illegal quotas by all-but requiring schools to hire faculty and admit students in the same proportion as their races and ethnicities are represented in the United States population as a whole. At some point, pushback against the proposed changes persuaded the ABA to drop its plan to move forward last summer, two and a half months before the Supreme Court revisited the legality of racial classifications in school admissions.DONATE
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