Boston University ‘particularly eager’ to hire BIPOC, international, marginalized students for job

A Boston University job description for Graduate Writing Center Consultants says the university is 'particularly eager' to hire BIPOC, international, and minority students.

AEI scholar Mark Perry says this posting could conflict with BU’s Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Policy, though discrimination would be difficult to prove.

In a job description for Fall 2021 Graduate Writing Center Consultants, Boston University states that it is “particularly eager for BIPOC, international, and first-generation students to apply.”

The description continues, “these students can provide invaluable support to their peers from similar backgrounds. We also strongly encourage students from other underrepresented or marginalized identities to apply; the Writing Center strives to be a space that is inclusive for all students.”

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Campus Reform reached out to Mark Perry, economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, who suggested that the job description could conflict with BU’s Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy, though it would be difficult to prove.

“It is the policy of Boston University to promote equal opportunity in educational programs and employment through practices designed to extend opportunities to all individuals on the basis of individual merit and qualifications, and to help ensure the full realization of equal opportunity for students, employees, and applicants for admission and employment,” the policy states. 

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To avoid confusion, Perry recommended that BU include its Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy in each job description to show that “an applicant’s individual merit and qualifications are to be considered over an individual applicant’s group identity for employment at BU.”

As it stands, the job description still raises questions.

“Of course, the implication is that BIPOCs and other underrepresented students will be given some type of preference over white students, but a white applicant would probably have to try to prove that he or she wasn’t hired on the basis of color and race and that might be difficult,” Perry said. “Encouraging certain groups to apply doesn’t necessarily translate to illegal discrimination in hiring, although it is probably often the case that encouraging certain groups to apply does result in preferences and discrimination in hiring, but hard to prove.” 

Campus Reform reached out to Boston University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.