Friday, September 29, 2006

How to recruit conservative faculty 

Loyal reader jw (I just call him this to his face now) sends an article and asks, "Why is it that this argument is accepted for minorities, but not for minority (conservative) viewpoints?" The article begins:

Across the country, campuses are engaged in efforts to diversify the racial and ethnic makeup of their faculties to help prepare their students for a diverse society. But the search committees charged with this task often approach their task in a passive, routine way.

Many committees create a job description that would attract faculty members much like themselves. They advertise the position in publications that people mostly like themselves read. They evaluate r�sum�s of people who often resemble themselves, invite three to five candidates for campus interviews who � again � are similar to themselves, and then make an offer to the person with whom they are most comfortable. Over time that process has inevitably resulted in campuses that are more homogeneous than not.

That happens to be exactly the argument for why universities are littered with leftist faculty -- the Sixties radicals keep hiring carbon copies of their younger selves. Professor Turner says search committees should be diverse (I believe the term, madam, is "set-asides") and its members should "get outside their comfort zones." It would be interesting to see that be applied to increasing viewpoint diversity.

But the one that caught my eye was her list for what we should include in ad copy to signal we are serious about diversity. Her suggested sentences:
Readers are invited to adjust this list to create a job ad that signals a school is looking to increase viewpoint diversity. SCSU requires such language; in the job ad for a position I am trying to fill for next year in economics, here's the diversity flag:
The successful candidate will have demonstrated ability to teach and work with persons from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Damn near every job ad I see has this sort of language.