California universities have found a way to circumvent the state's long-held affirmative action laws
DEI-based hiring practices have been proven to impact the racial makeup of applicant pools
California has banned preferential treatment based on characteristics like race and ethnicity since 1996.
Many applications for the University of California school system’s faculty jobs include submitting a statement of allegiance to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to be considered, despite the fact that race-based employment and admissions policies at public universities have been outlawed in the state since 1996.
UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, and UC Berkeley’s point system for evaluating potential employees prefer applicants with “clear knowledge of … dimensions of diversity that result from different identities,” a “consistent track record” in advancing DEI, and experiences in aiding “underrepresented individuals.”
Despite state laws against affirmative action at public universities and other state institutions, diversity statement requirements can serve as a way to manipulate the racial makeup of a hiring pool, without directly discriminating based on race.
UC’s own research shows this.
Data from UC Berkeley shows that using DEI statements in applicant screening reliably results in fewer Asian American and White applicants being shortlisted for hiring. In fact, since aggressively employing these practices in faculty hiring, the university has seen a notable increase in Black and Hispanic hires, and a decrease in White and Asian hires.
UC system President Michael Drake vowed to uplift minority groups in response to the Supreme Court’s striking down race-based affirmative action in college admissions last month.
“We will continue to support programs and practices that seek to address historical inequities and ensure that our colleges and universities are reflective of California’s rich and dynamic diversity,” Drake said in a joint statement with California’s higher education leaders.
Meanwhile, Proposition 209 has banned preferential treatment based on race, sex, skin color, ethnicity, and national origin in the state since 1996.
Utkarsh Jain, a junior at UC Berkeley and the spokesperson for the Berkeley College Republicans, told Campus Reform that “cowardice in the country” allows DEI mandates to continue, calling the practice a pointless “ego booster for universities.”
“As a child of Indian immigrants, it’s sad to see that native-born Americans squander their opportunities to prosper while people outside of the country die trying to come to this great nation,” Jain said.
Jain added, “We will continue to see more and more people who are unqualified and who drop out or do not do so well and are near the bottom levels of their classes because they were never chosen to attend based on academic excellence or other achievements.”
In an email to Campus Reform, UC’s Director of Media Relations, Roqua Montez IV, stated that the UC system “does not consider nor grant preferential treatment in admissions based on race.”
Douglas Haynes, vice provost for UC’s academic personnel and programs, said in a statement provided to Campus Reform that each individual campus decides in its applications whether it requires statements about a candidate’s DEI contributions. These statements are not the only part of an application, he noted.
The “applicant’s portfolio ... typically includes information on scholarly accomplishment and pedagogical excellence, honors, grants awarded, evaluations of teaching effectiveness, evidence of academic reputation in their community of peers, and more,” Haynes added.
Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.