Job Listings in Higher Ed Increasingly Demand a Specialization in Social Justice, Critical Race Theory
“Remarkably, Ohio State might be the worst offender in the nation”
The way things are going, every discipline will have a progressive political issue attached to it. John Sailer focuses on what’s happening at Ohio State in this piece at Minding the Campus:
Faculty-Packing at Ohio State
The Ohio State University is currently seeking a professor of “Philosophy of Race,” an area of expertise that includes “the epistemological significance of race or racism” and “race in the philosophy of science.” Its Department of Physics seeks a professor whose main focus is “issues relevant to educational equity.” And its Department of Anthropology recently sought an archaeologist whose work emphasizes “decolonization, feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory, and/or Indigenous ontologies.”
These roles reflect a trend across the country, whereby faculty job listings increasingly demand a specialization in such topics as social justice, critical race theory, and intersectionality. Remarkably, Ohio State might be the worst offender in the nation—surpassing even such progressive bastions as the University of California, Berkeley. To add to the university’s 132 diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officers, a striking number of the new faculty job listings at Ohio State read like calls to progressive activism.
Ohio State’s DEI-themed faculty hiring boom started with its now-outgoing president, Kristina M. Johnson, who promised in her first “State of the University” speech to hire scores of new faculty with a focus on race and equity, setting the goal of “100 underrepresented and BIPOC hires in all fields of scholarship.” Out of this goal came the Race, Inclusion and Social Equity (RAISE) initiative, a series of cluster hires that promises to transform Ohio State for years to come. Already, through the RAISE initiative, Ohio State has created 48 faculty jobs that will focus on such themes as “Climate, Race, and Place” and “Racial Equity by Design.”
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Having sat on many hiring committees, I see an obvious reason administrators would want to put a “diversity” emphasis on any and all job openings. Many (probably most) colleges and universities have unspoken quotas of minority faculty they want to hire, but the minority applicants usually are not the best qualified.
Administrators have pressured committees to hire minorities. For example, a committee I was on was told that the search would be canceled if any of the top three was a white male. But this kind of blatant discrimination can run into legal trouble. That will be even more likely once the SCOTUS rules that racist discrimination is illegal.
So you put a “diversity” emphasis into all your ads. Clearly someone teaching electrical engineering doesn’t need a “diversity” emphasis in his job, but you put it into the ad anyway so that it will be one of the criteria the committee uses in evaluating candidates. Then you make sure that the minority applicants get high “diversity” scores and the white males get low scores.
What this does is to help the minorities rise in the applicant pool, so that they can be invited for interviews and then preferentially hired “on the basis of the interview.” I’ve seen this done in many cases. Is this racist? Of course! Is it illegal? Maybe not. Administrators will make up some BS about how important a “DEI contribution” will be in electrical engineering or physics or whatever, and make sure the minority applicants get enough extra points to float them to the top of the list. That’s not as blatantly illegal as saying “We won’t hire a white male.”
So I believe that a major reason for irrelevant DEI garbage in the job announcements is to create a criterion where the minority applicants can be given enough extra points to be competitive.
Maybe OldProf2 is right that it’s a proxy for the race of the candidate. But maybe also, it’s a show of power that these departments are the ones getting established, some with tenured lines, and getting the money. And those SJW “joke” degrees are the ones getting the job offers.
The movement has grabbed the pots of money and is in control of at least a piece of the economy. Very bad news.
While our colleges are increasingly refusing to hire anyone without de credentials, our governments have begin hiring increasing numbers of people without college credentials. Soon, colleges will be putting out a product so perfect that nobody will be buying it.
…refusing to hire anyone without DEI credentials…
“…a product so perfect that nobody will be buying it.”
That’s good. Imma borrow that.