San Diego State University subjects cancer biologist applicants to DEI litmus test

The school requires individuals applying to the cancer biologist position to complete a ‘building inclusive excellence’ form.

In order to be considered for the job, a candidate must satisfy criteria such as having ‘research interests that contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education.’

San Diego State University (SDSU) is subjecting applicants for a professor of cancer biology job to several diversity requirements. 

According to the job listing, applicants are required to “satisfy two or more of the eight Building on Inclusive Excellence (BIE) criteria

Two examples include applicants having “demonstrated knowledge of barriers for underrepresented students and faculty within the discipline” and having “research interests that contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education.”

Candidates must have a “commitment to working with diverse groups (e.g., Latinx, Black/African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Pacific Islander, Asian, Pacific Islander, LGBTQI, etc.) through research, teaching, mentoring, and service,” the job listing states. 

This is one of 11 positions being offered by a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded diversity program at the school. The program promotes “scientific workforce diversity” and creates “a community of scientists committed to implementing and sustaining cultures of inclusive excellence through recruitment of a diverse cohort of early-career faculty,” the description states.

[Related: Diversity statements can determine who gets hired at universities]

SDSU’s hiring guide details the candidate selection process and emphasizes the school’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

“In the United States, specifically North American histories of colonization, slavery, and exclusion have created systemic, widespread inequities in the life opportunities enjoyed by members of different social groups,” the hiring guide states. “As a public-serving institution, SDSU is committed to addressing these inequities.”

“If you are an applicant for a faculty position at SDSU who does not have primary experience working with inequities in a United States context, you are invited to reflect on the systemic, widespread inequities that shape the lives of social groups in the places where you have studied and worked,” the hiring guide continues. 

[Related: Required diversity statement, bias response team part of diversity strategic plan]

Search committees “bear an extraordinary responsibility for ensuring that the university realizes its commitments to diversity and inclusion through the hiring process,” and must “review equity-minded practices each time they participate in a search” by watching a DEI video, the hiring guide states. They are also advised to undergo implicit bias training.

Campus Reform reached out to both SDSU and the NIH for comment and will update this article accordingly.

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