Cornell faculty call to 'abolish colorblind recruitment' of faculty

  • A group of faculty members, graduate students, and staff are demanding that Cornell University offer jobs to all partners and spouses of "BIPOC faculty."
  • The group also demands the university use “anti-racist” and “anti-sexist” policies to combat “White and/or male domination of chair positions.”

Faculty members, graduate students, and staff are demanding that Cornell University "abolish colorblind recruitment policies" and offer jobs to the partners/spouses of "all BIPOC faculty, including assistant professors," as well as develop "anti-racist policies" to "address White and/or male domination" in department chair and administrative positions.

These demands were made in a letter published to Medium on Sept. 8 titled "Faculty, Graduate Students and Staff for an Anti-Racist Cornell, 2020 Demands" by the Cornell Faculty Coalition. The group states that while the university "faithfully performs the liberal rituals of 'diversity,'" they are "largely symbolic" and "therefore empty."

"abolish colorblind recruitment policies and practices in partner/spousal hiring"   

While the President of Cornell University, Martha Pollack, released several anti-racism initiatives that the university plans to implement, the group says that "Cornell as an institution must do much more."

[RELATED: Black faculty at Columbia demand school start 'unlearning whiteness']

One of the demands calls on Cornell to "abolish colorblind recruitment policies and practices in partner/spousal hiring," and demands that they are replaced with "intentionally anti-racist policies and practices," including offering jobs to all partners/spouses of BIPOC faculty at the university.

"In particular: a) offer partner/spousal hires to all BIPOC faculty, including assistant professors; b) create a centralized funding pool for partner/spousal hires instead of taking lines from departments; c) make data on racial demographics of partner/spousal hires publicly available; d) provide housing assistance to faculty as is done at Cornell’s peer-institutions," the letter states.

The demand letter goes on to call for dismantling the alleged “White and/or male domination of chair positions," and states that "colorblind" events only perpetuate "racial disparities."

“Every 'colorblind' event, mechanism, and process at the university — from new faculty orientations to selection of endowed positions — perpetuates racial disparities and reinforces an unjust status quo," the letter states.

The demands come amid new “anti-racist” initiatives at Cornell, including the free digital distribution of Boston University Professor Ibram Kendi's book How to be an Anti-Racist to all Cornell students, according to an email obtained by Campus Reform and “a required training course for Cornell staff on equity and cultural competency.”

[RELATED: Amherst College students demands college revise speech policy to address 'hate speech']

Cornell Law School Professor William Jacobson, who was targeted by “activists” earlier in 2020 after he criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, told Campus Reform that the demands are unlikely to become policy, saying that they are "unlawful."

“This is more evidence of how deeply a culture of racial discrimination in the name of ‘antiracism’ is becoming a prevailing ideology at Cornell. It is the opposite of non-discrimination that supposedly is a guiding principle at Cornell, but is being abandoned with furious speed through mandatory staff indoctrination and proposed compulsory ideological training for students and faculty. While demands for openly discriminatory hiring and promotion likely never will become university policy because they are unlawful, that so many faculty, including law faculty, promote this destructive agenda is sad commentary on the state of activism on campus.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @SilversteinUSA



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Joseph Silverstein
Joseph Silverstein | New York Campus Correspondent

Joseph Silverstein is a New York Campus Correspondent with Campus Reform. He is a Junior at Cornell University, where he's double majoring in Government and Economics. Joe is the current Editor in Chief of The Cornell Review and has previously hosted a radio talk show based in NYC, authored a bestselling book, and served as Student Organization President at Tottenville High School.