Campus Reform | Universities 'cluster' hire Asian-American scholars following purported rise in hate

Universities 'cluster' hire Asian-American scholars following purported rise in hate

Following a purported rise in anti-Asian hate, schools across the United States are cluster-hiring Asian-American professors.

Leading universities are increasingly relying upon the method in order to boost faculty diversity under their “anti-racism” plans.

Following a purported rise in anti-Asian hate, universities across the United States are seeking to “cluster" hire Asian-American professors.

For instance, Steven Fluharty — Dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Arts and Sciences — wrote in a March 30 statement that his department would “undertake a cluster search to fill multiple standing faculty positions in Asian American studies.”

“Understanding the Asian American experience is critical to our understanding of the American experience,” continued Fluharty. “This cluster search will allow the School to build its collective strength in Asian American studies and in the study of race and diversity more broadly.”

Fluharty also stated that the move is the first instance of a cluster hire carried out under the school’s new “Inclusion and Anti-Racism Initiatives.”

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Duke University will also pursue group hires in Asian American Studies.

According to a job advertisement in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the university announced that it is seeking a “cluster hire.”

“These hires are part of an effort to increase the number of faculty with global perspectives and expertise across core departments,” read the posting, “with support from the Office of the Provost and funded by The Duke Endowment.”

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At the University of California-Los Angeles, professors told student newspaper The Daily Bruin on March 12 that it would be open to increasing staff diversity through cluster hires.

“It disturbs me when I have students of color come to my office … and lament the fact that there are hardly any faculty of color,” said education professor Tyrone Howard. “That’s sad because I think students of color who want to pursue these fields oftentimes decide against them or may change their majors because they feel like they’re just invisible.”

Other prominent universities — such as Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Michigan — are likewise leaning upon the cluster hire method to increase staff diversity.

Campus Reform reached out to Penn, Duke, and UCLA for comment; this article will be updated with any comment.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft