In recent years, universities have increasingly required 'diversity statements' from faculty seeking jobs, tenure, or promotion. But statements describing faculty's contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion are also increasingly under attack. Criticisms first made in tweets and blog posts have expanded into prominent opinion pieces and, more recently, law review articles. These attacks are having an effect. Within universities, faculty-wide resolutions for and against mandatory diversity statements have been called and academic freedom committees have been asked to intervene. Outside universities, lawyers are recruiting plaintiffs to challenge diversity statement requirements in court.
Watch our experts in a discussion on Professor Brian Soucek’s recent article in the UC Davis Law Review about these diversity statements fleshing out the criticisms and developing a framework to address if universities can require diversity statements without violating either the Constitution or academic freedom.
Professor Brian Soucek, Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Fellow, UC Davis School of Law
Professor Eugene Volokh, Gary T. Schwartz Distinguished Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
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