UCLA prof on mandatory diversity statements: 'I sometimes wonder whether I could get hired here today'

  • A new policy requires University of California, Los Angeles professors to show diversity for promotion and merit boards.
  • “It’s too easily abused,” one student told Campus Reform.

A University of California, Los Angeles law professor spoke out against recent updates to the school’s diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, wondering “whether somebody with my ideological views” could get hired at the school today. 

Professor Stephen Bainbridge shared his concerns on his personal blog, reflecting that both the old and updated policies seemed biased. 

"Too easily abused"   

“I sometimes wonder whether I could get hired here today,” he wrote. “Or whether somebody with my ideological views can get hired here today.”

A May 2018 policy mandated that all candidates for faculty positions submit a statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion, documenting their contributions and ambitions regarding the principles, according to The Daily Bruin.

[Related: Calif. math prof applicants better have 'diversity contributions' on their resumes]

But the law professor commented on an update expanding the statements to impact the current faculty pool.

“What makes all this of personal interest is that, as of this academic year, [equity, diversity, and inclusion] statements are going to be mandatory not just for hiring, but also for promotion and merit raises,” Bainbridge said. “So the next time I come up for a merit raise, I'm going to have to submit one. My statement is going to be purely about how I tried to promote intellectual diversity by supporting the Federalist Society (back when [UCLA Law] admitted enough conservative students to support one) and the Christian Legal Society. I wonder how that'll go over?”

[Related: New survey reveals college diversity, inclusion efforts fail miserably]

Students responded to the new measures with a combination of optimism and worry.

“Faculty hiring is such a specific process anyway,” Ernest Chen, a UCLA chemical engineering grad student and TA told Campus Reform. “If you get a faculty search committee of random engineering faculty together, I’d bet they’d give a different weight to the diversity and inclusion statement than a faculty search committee of random business school faculty or random political science faculty. Admittedly, they can be kind of a put-off for some people. I didn’t really have any idea what to write for mine, since I’m in an overrepresented group in engineering.”

“My first thought was that being inclusive isn’t completely different from being a good educator,” a UCLA student who wished to remain unnamed told Campus Reform. “You could be amazing at lecturing, but if your students don’t feel accepted, are they really learning? I think it was good-intentioned [sic], but it’s too easily abused.”

Bainbridge did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @arik_schneider

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Arik Schneider
Arik Schneider | Campus Correspondent

Arik Schneider is a California Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. He attends University of California, Los Angeles, and is the UCLA Chair of Young Americans for Freedom.

12 Articles by Arik Schneider