Critics challenge diversity language in Virginia Tech's tenure policy
March 26, 2009
by Robin Wilson
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Virginia Tech has come under criticism from some outside groups for a set of new guidelines that, the critics say, appear to require faculty members to show a commitment to diversity as part of their bids for tenure and promotion.
The critics, including the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, say the guidelines establish a “loyalty oath” that violates professors’ academic freedom.
The guidelines at issue govern faculty members in the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. They say that a promotion and tenure committee “expects all dossiers to demonstrate the candidate’s active involvement in diversity.”
But the university’s provost, Mark G. McNamee, says not only is the language on diversity not really new, it is also merely intended to encourage faculty members to pursue activities related to diversity, not to require it.
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