UC’s Hiring Pledge: Okay for Me but Not for Thee?
National Catholic commentary about our region
The following excerpt is from a piece by Matthew Archbold that originally appeared on July 11 in the National Catholic Register as “Why Can’t Catholic Colleges Hire for Mission?” It is a response to a new policy announced by the University of Cincinnati in June as a response to last year’s fatal shooting of Sam DuBose, an African American man, during a traffic stop by a UC police officer. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called the shooting “absolutely unwarranted” and charged the police officer with murder. The university also paid the DuBose family more than $5 million dollars and replaced its police chief and assistant chief. The policy will require all applicants to submit a statement “summarizing his or her contributions (or potential contributions) to diversity, inclusion and leadership.” and, in interviews, to respond to the question, “As an equal-opportunity employer with a diverse staff and student population, we are interested in how your qualifications prepare you to work with faculty, staff and students from cultures and backgrounds different from your own.”
Newly hired staff and academics at a large public university are reportedly required to sign some kind of pledge to “diversity and inclusion.”
The College Fix reports:
The University of Cincinnati has rolled out a new policy that requires faculty and staff applicants pledge their commitment to “diversity and inclusion.”
The policy comes at a university with a stated goal of hiring more “historically underrepresented” employees, a benchmark spelled out in its “UC Affirmative Action Plan” that calls for more African American, women, and other “traditionally unrepresented” employees campuswide. “As of July 1, the University of Cincinnati will request a Diversity and Inclusion statement of all applicants for faculty and staff positions,” the university recently announced. “Faculty and administrative/professional applicants will be asked to submit a personal statement summarizing his or her contributions (or potential contributions) to diversity, inclusion and leadership.”
Funny, I thought academics refused on principle to be beholden to oaths of fidelity to anything but their own sacred consciences. Guess not, huh?
But this brings to mind the question of why can the University of Cincinnati have this pledge but Catholic colleges and universities can’t hire for mission. Is the secularist mission of “diversity” more worthy than the aims and goals of the Catholic Church? In one report on Catholic Identity, Loyola Marymount University Professor Chris Kaczor was quoted as saying that he believes some think it’s illegal to hire a teacher based on his religious beliefs.
Catholic University of America’s Office of General Counsel wrote of this issue:
How preferential hiring mixes with equal opportunity law, even at a religiously-affiliated university, is a complex question. A common point of confusion is the idea that because equal opportunity law prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, an employer may not exhibit a preference for someone of a certain religion. Many people do not realize that an exception exists for religious employers, including religious educational institutions. Both the United States Constitution and statutory law support this First Amendment right for religious educational institutions to hire members of their own religion on a preferential basis.
Precisely because of this confusion (some willful, some otherwise) the percentage of Catholic professors at many major Catholic universities like the University of Notre Dame and the aforementioned LMU have plummeted…
The father of five, Matthew Archbold is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his children and is a columnist for the National Catholic Register. He and his brother Patrick write the Catholic commentary blog Creative Minority Report.