Bentley University will offer an undergraduate degree in “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) this fall, becoming the first college in the United States to offer a major of this sort.
“This fall, students will have the option to pursue a four-year degree to prepare them for careers such as a diversity and inclusion specialist, human resources DEI expert or community organizer,” the College Fix reported Friday.
It will be interesting to see how far Bentley’s commitment to diversity extends. In 2019, a conservative student was assaulted on campus and his dorm room was vandalized.
Alex Christoffersen, the president of the Bentley Republicans group, was assaulted while collecting signatures for a petition to host conservative commentator Tomi Lahren on campus. He had a Trump flag draped over the table where he was seated at the time.
Helen Henrichs, Bentley’s spokeswoman, told the College Fix that the new degree program was introduced because “students have an interest in careers that make a positive impact on society and employers have an interest in hiring graduates who can fill these diversity, equity, and inclusion roles.”
Bentley — a small, private liberal arts college in Waltham, Massachusetts, that charges $55,000 a year for tuition and fees — will offer both a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in diversity, equity, and inclusion, with the former focusing on organizational strategy and the latter on critical and theoretical approaches to social justice, Henrichs said.
Both options will pair core business courses, such as ‘Managing Diversity in the Workplace’ and ‘Gender and the Law,’ and core arts and sciences courses, such as ‘Cross-Cultural Communication’ and ‘Race and Racism in U.S. History,’ with electives from multiple areas.
“Students will have the flexibility to choose classes that align with their interests,” she added.
In its publicity for the new major, Bentley emphasizes expanding career options in the business world for those versed in DEI.
The university declares:
Chief Diversity Officer. Vice President of Culture. Inclusion Specialist. The titles may differ, but all of these positions reflect the corporate world’s growing realization that creating an inclusive workplace culture isn’t just a moral imperative, but a business necessity.
Bentley notes that its DEI program will include core business courses, such as “Managing Diversity in the Workplace” and “Gender and the Law” as well as core arts and sciences courses, like “Cross-Cultural Communication” and “Race and Racism in U.S. History.”
It will also offer electives such as “Literature of the Holocaust,” “Urban Politics and Policy,” and a philosophy course called “Disability, Values and Society.”