Elon to consider 'commitment' to diversity when awarding faculty pay raises

A campus spokesman said the school has distributed "extensive information" on how it will implement the policy.

However, the school declined to disclose that "extensive information" to Campus Reform.

Elon University will base all future faculty pay increases, in part, based on their commitment to social justice.

In an effort to make Elon University a “more equitable and welcoming community,” the university’s president announced that future pay raises for faculty will be based on diversity and inclusion criteria.

Elon University President Connie Ledoux Book announced the move in her “new action steps for diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The five steps include naming a Vice President and Associate Provost for Inclusive Excellence, requiring every student to take courses that “drive deeper understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion,” removing the name of a former university president from a residence hall, updating the “bias response team,” and making all future faculty “merit pay increases” dependent, in part, on their commitment to social justice.

“To promote accountability for the steps outlined here and the work ahead, going forward all future merit pay increases for faculty and staff will be based in part on their commitment to professional development related to diversity, equity and inclusion,” Book said.

[RELATED: CU-Boulder looks to pay ‘underrepresented’ students up to $20/hr for ‘eco-social justice’ jobs]

Book added that these new criteria will apply to all faculty as well as university leadership.

When asked why the university decided to take these steps, Vice President of University Communications Dan Anderson told Campus Reform that this decision was in the works for a “long period of time.”

“There’s been ongoing discussion about issues related to the diversity, equity, inclusion for many years and so this is the result of, you know, lots of discussion, task forces, committee meetings, groups, not just students, alumni, and faculty and staff. It’s a result of a lot of discussion over a long period of time,” Anderson said.

When asked if he could give examples of the types of actions or behaviors the university would be looking for from faculty that could satisfy this new pay raise criteria, Anderson told Campus Reform that the university has put out “extensive information” on the initiatives.

”I think we’ve said all we want to say about those policies right now. We’ve put out extensive information about the initiatives and that’s all we want to say right now,” Anderson said.

The university president said that this change will make members of the university “recognize that each of us is responsible for the Elon community and each of us must open our heart and mind to the work ahead so that all of us can feel the reward of the richness and fullness of an Elon community where human dignity is fundamental in all we do.”

[RELATED: Prof refuses ‘required’ diversity training, says job in jeopardy as a result]

Mahogany Madden-Roberts, a sophomore at Elon University told the Elon News Network that she wanted to see Elon University take action. She was pleased with the other steps the university is taking but is not satisfied with the pay raise criteria change.

“Salary has nothing to do with you just wanting to be a better individual,” Madden-Roberts told the Elon News Network.

“You shouldn’t have to pay somebody just for them to be a better teacher. If you’re a teacher, any kind of teacher or mentor, you should not discriminate [against] who your mentee is or your student is,” she continued.

[RELATED: Prof says university ‘inclusion and diversity’ efforts are a ‘smokescreen’ that harm black students]

Brett Higgins, a senior at Elon University told Campus Reform that he likes the change in pay increase criteria.

“I think changing the school culture starts from the top down and I like that they’re giving professors incentives to create a positive environment for all students,” Higgins said.

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