A new policy at the University of Cincinnati, effective July 1, will require all job applicants for faculty and staff positions– including hourly positions– to submit a “diversity and inclusion” cover letter explaining how they will help make the university a more diverse institution in order to be considered for any job.
In a statement announcing the new policy, university officials said that “faculty and administrative/professional applicants will be asked to submit a personal statement summarizing his or her contributions (or potential contributions) to diversity, inclusion and leadership.” Basically, applicants will have to brag about how not being a Caucasian male helps make the university a better place.
Bleuzette Marshal, the University of Cincinnati’s Chief Diversity Officer, told WCPO, “We want to be able to see who people are a little bit coming through the door, and we want them to know who we are, so we aren’t surprised by each other.”
When asked how the pledge will contribute to the university’s intellectual diversity, M.B. Reilly, the Director of Public Relations, told The New Guard that the institution has “hundreds of campus groups” that represent ideological diversity, but failed to mention how this specific initiative would do so.
“The goal is the best employees for a campus that is national, is global, and we want to become more so in drawing students, staff and faculty that reflect today’s world,” Reilly told The New Guard.
According to the university’s five-year Diversity Plan released in 2011, the University of Cincinnati has a goal to “attract, retain, and promote an increased number of historically underrepresented and other diverse faculty,” with specific focus on increasing the number of African Americans and women hired by the university.
Although Reilly claims that the pledge has “no end goal of hiring any specific gender, ethnicity, race, etc.,” it appears to be the university’s next step in ensuring they reach their goals laid out in the Diversity Plan which is set to expire at the end of 2016.
Tamie Grunow, a Human Resources Officer for the university, noted, “We’re all better off with diversity in our lives, and it’s part of demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion and setting expectations and priorities.”
While the new “diversity and inclusion” pledge won’t be applied to students looking for jobs on campus, it will without-a-doubt affect the 63,000 people who apply for jobs at the university each year.