DEI statement trumps research: ad for a biology job at at the Unviersity of California at Santa Cruz

March 6, 2023 • 9:15 am

To show how far the DEI trope has insinuated itself into the academic job market—at least for biology—have a look at the job ad below. It’s for a beginning professor job in animal behavior, and is thoroughly imbued with “diversity” requirements. In fact, it mentions “diversity” nine times but “research” only seven. Further, in the materials you must submit with your application, the required DEI statement precedes the statement about your research.  This gives you an idea of today’s hiring priority.

And remember, this is a science job at a state university—an arm of the government. As I’ve said before, the use of DEI statements may well be illegal, as they are forms of compelled speech. This situation is ripe for a court case, but the trouble is finding someone who has standing to sue. That must be someone not only injured by required DEI statements, but is willing to ruin their academic court by publicly challenging those requirements.

A statement about ideology—and believe me, your DEI statement better hew sufficiently to the au courant views of DEI to even be considered—should be no part of an application to become a scientist. Such statements are in fact barred by the University of Chicago as the administration feels that required DEI statements violate the Shils report.

Click screenshot to read the whole ad; I’ve put a couple of excerpts below, but there’s more at the link:

From the “position description”. I’ve never seen such blatant language in a job ad. And I can imagine it would be even worse in the humanities and worst of all in “studies” jobs. Note that if you don’t practice DEI “service” after you’re hired, you have no chance of being promoted or getting tenure.

Our EEB Department is collegial, congenial, creative, and family friendly, and it strives to increase diversity at all career stages while centering teaching and research practices around inquiry-based problem-solving. Together, our faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and staff form a vibrant campus community that is reflected in our student success.

. . . . UC Santa Cruz is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) with a relatively high proportion of first-generation college students and a strong record of facilitating student social mobility. UC Santa Cruz and the EEB Department value diversity, equity, and inclusion and are committed to hiring faculty who will work to support these values. We welcome candidates who understand the barriers facing women and historically excluded groups who are underrepresented in the classroom and in higher education careers (as evidenced by life experiences and educational background), and who have experience in equity and diversity with respect to teaching, mentoring, research, life experiences, or service towards building an equitable and diverse scholarly environment. Activities promoting equity and inclusion at UC Santa Cruz will be recognized as important university service during the faculty promotion process. More information can be found:

Here’s a screenshot of the stuff prospective animal behaviorists must submit when they apply for the job. Notice that the DEI statement precedes the research statement:

19 thoughts on “DEI statement trumps research: ad for a biology job at at the Unviersity of California at Santa Cruz

  1. It seems to me that the school wants to make a raced-based hire and this is a way of getting around the fact that they cannot say so explicitly. If a repair shop listed a job saying “include an essay on why the Mustang is the greatest car ever”, not too many Camaro fans would float a resume their way. It thins the applicant pool down.

  2. UCSC is just discouraging applications from impartial “true” scientists, for whatever reason. Can’t possibly be any good for their science portfolio in the long run.

  3. For a hint at the potential longevity of DEI dogmas (absent a successful court challenge), we need look no further than the characterization of women as “underrepresented in the classroom”. Women have outnumbered men in the classroom every year since 1980, and they now do so by nearly a 2:1 margin, yet such statements persist. Why?

    1. Because it was never about equality. It was a power grab under the guise of good intention.

  4. Once again, what were the academic politics of the process whereby a department of Ecology/Evolutionary Biology adopted the mores of critical grievance studies?
    Does it have anything to do with UCSC’s pre-history as an “alternative” kind of place, which I thought had been superceded by the 1980s. The history and sociology of the differences between UCSC and U. Chicago might provide a guide to resisting the grievance studies takeover of every corner of every institution everywhere.

  5. This is no different than the practice in Soviet Russia of requiring people to be Communist Party members for certain jobs or advancement. Doesn’t the construction “historically excluded” mean that the groups in question are no longer excluded? How many tortuous ways are there to say, not white males?

        1. Precisely JAC. Many universities with a religious affiliation have a statement of faith but do not require faculty to accept the statement. The Jewish, Muslim, atheist and other non-Christian folks at Pepperdine are only required to affirm that the institution has the right to proclaim their faith and that they will not attempt to subvert the statement.

  6. I’ve been seeing many faculty of color online talking about how it’s actually insulting to ask them to write a Diversity statement. So possibly this sort of thing will backfire and they are going to end up with a bunch of white applicants who have been properly “educated” in the terminology of DEI, rather than actual diversifying their faculty.

    The thing that stood out to me most, actually, was the statement that ONLY the research and DEI statement will be evaluated during the first round of applicant reviews. So they are claiming they are not even going to look at the Cover letters or CV of these likely 100+ applicants but they ARE going to completely read every DEI and research statement?

    I am skeptical.

    1. I’ve been on these search committees. In Round 1, the anonymized Research and DEI statements are read and scored. For those that pass muster in both regards, the full application is evaluated in Round 2.

    2. ” they are going to end up with a bunch of white applicants who have been properly “educated” in the terminology of DEI, rather than actual diversifying their faculty.” This is no doubt OK with typical woke careerists, but pointing it out may be informative for the naive, middle-ground faculty members who have been taken in by DEI verbiage.

  7. With a junior job such as this it’s harder to find someone with the necessary standing to make a court case. It would be much easier with a senior position — if you could get a willing Nobel-prize winner to go through the motions of an application and intentionally flunk the DEI part, and not get the job (or likely, not even be interviewed), that would do it.

  8. I predict that a lot of academics will start using ChatGPT and the like to craft DEI statements, eventually rendering them even more useless and performative than they already are.

  9. The successful candidate will probably need to be an effective user of ChatGPT in order to write the DEI statements.

    More seriously, I can’t see how this will help advance science for anyone. I pity the poor assistant professor who has to spend his vulnerable pre-tenure years pandering to DEI bureaucrats instead of doing science. When tenure-time comes, and the candidate has only a minimal record of scholarly work—too little to impress the outside reviewers—who will be there to advocate for tenure? DEI apparatchiks? I don’t think so.

    I’m hoping for a class action lawsuit to emerge at some point.

  10. When I was a Banana Slug in the late 1980s, UCSC was *already* deep, deep into what we would now call “woke” territory. Believe it!

    I was coming off seven years working as a ranch hand and UCSC helped revive me after spending too much time immersed in rural closed-mindedness. It was refreshing.

    But the excesses were apparent to me almost from day one. Israel was already nation-non-grata and in the “Politics” (Political Science) department where I earned my degree anti-colonialism was rampant. I’m glad I was exposed to some of those ideas, which I’d not really encountered before.

    I’m truly proud to be a UCSC graduate. I emerged a moderate liberal journalist who went on to have a successful career and exercise a capacity for critical thinking. But I can well imagine that Slugland is now in the outer Neptunian orbit of “woke” dogma.

    So none of the above surprises me.

  11. Of course, since biological research has resulted no different from conservative views, so ideological control of the minds of biologists has to be enforced, and I think most biologists cling to the Enlightenment view of human nature which makes the whole field lost ability to resist corrosion. Back in the late twentieth century it was possible to be dismissed as “discriminatory” and fired for speaking out biological facts, and most of the people complaining here once supported that practice.

    The Enlightenment’s belief in the equality of human beings is what has led to the collective incapacity of scientists. Except in certain communities in North America, evolution has been a huge backstop for conservatism, and everywhere in the world, biological facts based on evolution have been used as a weapon for conservatism to destroy progressivism.

    As Musk pointed out, the increase in the rate of women working in the late twentieth century is likely to be based on ideology rather than substantive efficiency. In the current environment, a company or government agency would rather hire many women who cannot effectively deal with the problem, instead of hiring one man with equal efficiency,and resulting in a decline in efficiency and quality.

    I think we are now facing the eve of the complete collapse of feminism and enlightenment, just like the Arab world and Rome in the classical era. egalitarian thinking never dies from judges and violence,but is exhausted in its own logic.Wokeism is to prevent the latest line of defense for egalitarian thinking to be destroyed by science, the “naturalistic fallacy” is a euphemism for leftist biologists to admit that their ideology is not aligned with the facts and it is useless to criticize biological conservatism in this light. and history has shown that a position of half superstition and half fact doesn’t work.

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