University system drops DEI statements, rubric from hiring process
The University of Missouri system recently announced that it will drop diversity statements in its hiring process as well as the DEI rubric previously used to evaluate candidates.
Candidates will now answer a prompt about the university's values, which include its commitment to 'intellectual pluralism.'
The University of Missouri system (UM) recently announced that it will drop diversity statements in its hiring process.
Uriah Orland—Associate Director of the News Bureau at UM—told Campus Reform that the announcement “was sent to human resource professionals, university leaders, and others involved in recruitment and hiring on Friday, March 24.” UM system faculty and staff received the announcement on Mar. 27, according to Orland.
“We regularly review recruitment processes for new faculty and staff to ensure alignment with the university’s mission, as well as state and federal laws regarding equal employment,” Choi writes.
“Recently,” the email continues, “there have been media reports that question the use of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) statements for hiring purposes at the University of Missouri and other institutions of higher learning.”
Choi notes that these reports bring into question whether such statements equate to “loyalty oaths.” He assures recipients that this is not the case but acknowledges that UM’s job applications could still give candidates that impression.
“To eliminate confusion,” Choi writes, UM will replace its DEI statement, asking candidates to instead explain how they exhibit the values of the university.
“We value the uniqueness of every individual and strive to ensure each person’s success,” the new prompt reads.
“Contributions from individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives promote intellectual pluralism and enable us to achieve the excellence that we seek in learning, research and engagement.”
Choi also notes that UM will no longer evaluate candidates according to a DEI rubric that was also obtained by Sailer.
The announcement comes as legislation banning the use of DEI statements in faculty hiring makes its way through the Mo. House of Representatives.
The UM system’s decision and the pending ban coincide with similar developments in other states. Following a directive from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas A&M University and University of Houston systems dropped DEI statements from their application processes.
Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly.
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