Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences will no longer require job applicants to submit DEI statements

Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences announced that it will no longer require applicants for faculty positions to submit a 'diversity, inclusion, and belonging' (DIB) statement.

According to Nina Zipser, the Dean of Faculty Affairs and Planning, the move comes 'in response to feedback from numerous faculty members.'

On June 3, Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) announced that it will no longer require applicants for faculty positions to submit a “diversity, inclusion, and belonging” (DIB) statement.

In an email to faculty, Dean of Faculty Affairs and Planning Nina Zipser wrote that she and FAS Dean Hopi E. Hoekstra made the decision to drop the requirement “in response to feedback from numerous faculty members” who worried that the statements were “too narrow in the information they attempted to gather” and also potentially confusing for international applicants.

Under the updated requirements, applicants will instead be required to submit two statements, one that details their “efforts to strengthen academic communities,” and another that explains how the applicant will contribute to creating a “learning environment in which students are encouraged to ask questions and share their ideas,” according to The Harvard Crimson.

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Zipser also reportedly said that the new approach aims to gain a more comprehensive view of applicants’ abilities to contribute to the university’s academic development in ways not directly tied to diversity.

“This broader perspective acknowledges the many ways faculty contribute to strengthening their academic communities, including efforts to increase diversity, inclusion, and belonging,” Zipser reportedly stated.

Applicants will only be asked to submit statements if they are finalists for a given position, whereas the old rules required all applicants to do so.

The move comes in the wake of criticism levied by Harvard’s own faculty against the old requirement and against other similar rules. In an op-ed last December, Professor Steven Pinker made the case that DIB statements threaten to “purge the next generation of scholars of anyone who isn’t a woke ideologue or a skilled liar.”

“Many of the assaults on academic freedom (not to mention common sense) come from a burgeoning bureaucracy that calls itself diversity, equity, and inclusion while enforcing a uniformity of opinion, a hierarchy of victim groups, and the exclusion of freethinkers,” Pinker wrote. “Often hastily appointed by deans as expiation for some gaffe or outrage, these officers stealthily implement policies that were never approved in faculty deliberations or by university leaders willing to take responsibility for them.”

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Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard’s law school, previously criticized the DIB requirement in a Harvard Crimson editorial in April, calling the statements “Ideological Pledges of Allegiance” that tend to suppress unpopular but academically valuable viewpoints.

“It does not take much discernment to see, moreover, that the diversity statement regime leans heavily and tendentiously towards varieties of academic leftism and implicitly discourages candidates who harbor ideologically conservative dispositions,” he wrote.

Campus Reform has reached out to Harvard University and Steven Pinker for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.