Universities hire new diversity czars while collecting federal bailout dollars
- Directors, associates, and administrators will start their new jobs to promote diversity initiatives on campus in the coming months.
- The new hires come as colleges nationwide collect billions as part of the university bailout.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple colleges are still committed to hiring administrators for diversity initiatives on campus. This comes as thousands of universities around the country collect billions of dollars in bailout money from American taxpayers.
Colleges are receiving this money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which specifically outlines each allocation of federal money to each college.
One of the universities receiving these funds is the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, which announced Thursday that it recently hired a new “director of diversity and community relations” officer, specifically for its business school.
The school explained that the new hire is important because he will “provide strategic leadership in creating an integrated vision and shared responsibility for facilitating the college's diversity goals and for fostering and supporting a campus culture that respects and appreciates individual differences.”
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville is set to receive a whopping $19,258,313 in CARES bailout money. UT's other three campuses, UT-Chattanooga, UT-Martin, and the UT Health Science Center will receive an extra $15.6 million.
Salem State University in Massachusetts announced on April 16 that it hired a new vice president for diversity and inclusion, Sean T. Bennett. He starts his new gig on June 1. Salem State is set to receive more than $6.5 million in CARES Act funding.
“While the COVID-19 crisis has placed intense strain on us all, the challenges present an opportunity to reflect on our broad commitments to inclusion and engagement,” Bennett said in a statement after being hired.
The university describes Bennett’s job as being to “implement and embed inclusive excellence in all university endeavors.”
The University of Texas-San Antonio, an institution that received a grand total of $29,656,887 in COVID-19 bailout dollars, announced the addition of two new diversity administrators just last week.
On Friday, the university made an announcement promoting the recent hirings of Norma Guerra, who will be the interim associate vice provost for faculty diversity, and Roger Enriquez, who will be in charge of theWestside Community Partnership as the executive director.
The university characterized Guerra’s job as “advancing institutional goals to increase faculty from underrepresented groups and, in particular, to promote the success of faculty who identify as Hispanic/Latino.” Enriquez will be tasked with “implement community-focused practices and processes that provide demonstrated benefit to our Hispanic communities.”
“Dr. Guerra has a strong understanding of how faculty success supports student success as well as a vision for encouraging a climate of inclusion that is so critical to attracting and retaining Hispanic and other underrepresented faculty,” stated senior vice president for academic affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy.
Mary Larson, the vice president for university relations boasted that Enriquez’s will perform in his new role, “with an intentional focus and effort on San Antonio’s near West Side and other key communities in line with our commitment as an HSI and to advance our institutional goals.”
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