UC requiring all new hires to prove commitment to diversity

The University of Cincinnati will now require prospective job applicants to summarize their commitment to diversity before being considered for a position at the school.

UC announced its new criteria last week, saying that as of July 1 the university “will request a Diversity and Inclusion statement of all applicants for faculty and staff positions.”

More specifically, anyone applying for a professorship or administrative position will be asked to write a “personal statement summarizing his or her contributions (or potential contributions) to diversity, inclusion, and leadership,” while those applying for staff positions will be required to respond to a prompt discussing their experience working with diverse populations.

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“This application request recognizes that the university is a diverse environment and signals that diversity and inclusion are important enough that we’re asking applicants about contributions or potential contributions up front,” Senior Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Tamie Grunow explained. “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.”

The diversity and inclusion statement will be one of several factors considered by hiring committees, Director of Public Relations M.B. Reilly told Campus Reform, saying that applications will be judged in a “holistic manner.”

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“The diversity and inclusion statement is one part of an application process that would generally take into account other factors as well, like general experience, aptitude, specialty knowledge, skill level, motivation, proven ability to innovate, work history, work ethic, salary requirements, interpersonal skills, etc.,” she continued.

According to Reilly, requesting a diversity statement is actually a common practice at many other universities, including the University of California, San Diego, which served as the inspiration for UC’s decision.

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“Our work, study, and living environment draws people from more than 100 countries, and from parts of the U.S. and the region that are diverse,” she added. “As such, asking for diversity and inclusion statements in our application processes signals that we are global, we are national, and we want to become more so in drawing students, staff, and faculty that reflect today's world.”

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