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M.I.T. Will No Longer Require Diversity Statements for Hiring Faculty

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses MIT's decision to no longer require diversity statements from faculty applicants, which have been criticized by conservatives and free-speech advocates as enforcing ideological conformity.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] MIT's Decision to Eliminate Diversity Statements

1. What was MIT's previous policy regarding diversity statements for faculty hiring?

  • MIT previously required faculty applicants to write diversity statements, where they had to explain how they would enhance the university's commitment to diversity.

2. Why did MIT decide to eliminate the diversity statement requirement?

  • MIT's president, Sally Kornbluth, stated that diversity statements constitute a form of "compelled speech" that do not work in achieving diversity goals. She said the goal is to "tap into the full scope of human talent" and "build an inclusive environment in many ways, but compelled statements impinge on freedom of expression, and they don't work."

3. What were the criticisms of the diversity statement requirement?

  • Conservatives and free-speech advocates have denounced diversity statements as forcing a kind of ideological conformity and enforcing groupthink.

4. How have diversity statements become common in faculty hiring at universities?

  • Diversity statements have become enshrined in faculty hiring at many elite public and private universities, as well as in corporate life. Academics have defended them as necessary in judging whether a faculty member can reach out to an increasingly diverse student body.

[02] MIT's Handling of Antisemitism Accusations

1. What issues has MIT faced related to antisemitism accusations?

  • MIT and its president, Sally Kornbluth, have been under scrutiny by House Republicans for the university's handling of antisemitism accusations.

2. How did MIT's president testify on the issue of antisemitism?

  • In December, Kornbluth testified alongside the presidents of Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania in a congressional hearing on antisemitism, which helped lead to the resignations of the Harvard and UPenn presidents.

3. What other campus issues has MIT faced?

  • MIT, like many other campuses, has struggled to handle an increasingly intense pro-Palestinian encampment.
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