Faculty candidates at Iowa State University are required to pledge they will “demonstrate their contribution to diversity and inclusion” if hired.
Faculty candidates at Iowa State University are being asked to sign onto a partisan diversity pledge that forces acceptance of certain inclusion principles such as affirmative action for both students and faculty.
Under the monicker “Principles of Community,” faculty candidates are asked to agree that they are willing to participate in a “global and culturally diverse university committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment for both learning and employment.” The statement adds that the “university has an expectation that all employees will demonstrate a contribution to diversity and inclusion as embodied in Iowa State University’s Principles of Community.”
Iowa State’s Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Reginald Stewart, told the current faculty that the addition of the statement into the faculty hiring process lets potential hires know upfront the values Iowa State seeks to uphold. “We knew it would be time for us to articulate [a] message of diversity and inclusion for every new employee,” Stewart said.
“The important work of having the really complex and difficult conversations that we’ve been having is that it’s the responsibility of everyone, not just the people over in that office that have diversity and inclusion in their title,” Stewart added.
The statement that faculty candidates are asked to sign onto also defends “the right to and the importance of a free exchange of ideas at Iowa State University within the bounds of courtesy, sensitivity, and respect.” However, in December 2016 a speaking event featuring former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled after the Iowa State administration engaged in the practice of security fee censorship. The administration told student organizers with only a week before the event that they would be required to raise an additional $2,000 in security fees if they wanted the event to proceed.
Iowa State University isn’t the first to ask potential faculty hires to sign onto a partisan political statement. Similar statements can be seen on faculty applications at institutions such as the University of Cincinnati