MIT hiring admin to expand ‘affirmative action’ efforts

Toni Airaksinen

  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is looking to hire an administrator to oversee and expand its affirmative action efforts.
  • Nearby Harvard University is currently battling a lawsuit alleging that its own affirmative action policies discriminate against Asian American students by systematically underrating their applications.
  • MIT is recruiting an expert to expand its “affirmative action” efforts, despite a lawsuit claiming that a similar program at Harvard University harms Asian American students.

    The new “Manager of Staff Diversity and Inclusion” will work in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) office of Human Resources, and will be responsible for “leadership for MIT’s diversity, inclusion, and equity strategy for MIT staff,” all of which aligns with the school’s “vision for diversity.” 

    "Search plans must indicate the specific steps by which active efforts will be made to identify minority and women candidates."   

    The new administrator will work in tandem with other diversity staffers to “effectively implement the Institute’s Affirmative Action and diversity recruitment efforts,” participate in developing “strategic diversity plans,” and much more.

    [RELATED: Prof: Affirmative action ‘not necessary or desirable’]

    The plan to expand MIT’s affirmative action program comes in the wake of a lawsuit alleging that a similar initiative at Harvard is attempting to “limit the number of Asian Americans that attend the college.”

    According to The New York Times, Harvard’s newly unsealed admissions records reveal that admissions officers systematically ranked Asian American applicants lower scores on “personality” traits such as “kindness” and being “widely respected.” 

    Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), the nonprofit that wrangled the admissions records from Harvard University through a lawsuit, contends that the personality rankings are one way that Harvard discriminates against Asian Americans in support of affirmative action. 

    If Harvard admissions did not consider race, SFFA contends, Asian Americans would comprise nearly 50 percent of the student body. 

    [RELATED: Harvard derides affirmative action lawsuit as 'ideological']

    MIT’s Affirmative Action Policy, similarly, states that the school’s recruitment efforts should prioritize women and minority candidates. 

    “Search plans must indicate the specific steps by which active efforts will be made to identify minority and women candidates,” the policy explains, adding that whoever takes the lead on the hiring effort must go “beyond” traditional hiring procedures. 

    “In cases involving a search committee, and especially for faculty appointments, the head of the department should ensure that at least one member of the committee is assigned the specific responsibility to see that an active search for minorities and women candidates is carried out,” the policy notes. 

    MIT also requires that every minority and female finalist applicant who is ultimately not chosen for a position “should be identified by name and resume with specific reasons for non selection [by the hiring committee].” 

    [RELATED: Leaked memo reveals racial hiring quota for Clemson faculty]

    MIT’s affirmative action efforts—which appear to make race and gender a key focus of employment recruitment—apply to all ranks of hiring at MIT, including the new Manager of Staff Diversity and Inclusion position, which is designated as “Admin: Management 4.”

    The designation appears to correspond to the Level 4 administrative pay band, which equates to a salary range between $68,870 and $154,920, but spokespersons for MIT did not respond to Campus Reform’s efforts to confirm that information.

    School officials likewise did not respond to multiple inquiries asking whether similar affirmative action policies are employed by the admissions office.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen is a New Jersey-based Campus Reform contributor, and previously served as a Senior Campus Correspondent. Her reporting focuses on campus First Amendment, Title IX, Equal Opportunity, and due process issues, and her stories have been profiled by numerous outlets including Fox News, The New York Post, PBS News, and The Washington Examiner.
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