Northwestern doles out dollars for 'diversity initiatives'

Northwestern University has launched two separate grant programs for professors researching topics of “diversity and equity,” awarding its faculty upwards of $150,000 to examine “the psychological consequences of biases.”

The programs—one a grant, the other an award—seem to differ only slightly, with one being called the “Provost Award for Faculty Excellence in Diversity and Equity,” and the other named the “Provost Grant for Faculty Innovation in Diversity and Equity.”

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While the grant requires recipients to actually carry out a proposed project, the award simply provides recipients with $5,000 or more to “further their diversity initiatives,” though no more specifics were provided in a school press release.

Meanwhile, recipients of the “grant” are awarded between $5,000 and $20,000 to carry out projects that “build a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable climate on campus” by “enhancing diversity across the spectrum, including race, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, age, and political affiliation.”

In total, the press release notes that the Provost’s office “awarded nearly $165,000” to faculty members under the two new programs, with Provost Dan Linzer himself declaring it a “privilege” to honor faculty members with financial awards.

[RELATED: Feds give UW over $700K to train faculty in ‘unconscious bias]

“Understanding the diverse groups that make up our nation and the world is central to the critical thinking that is a hallmark of a university education,” he said. “And it is a privilege to honor faculty who, through their teaching and scholarship, are exploring diversity across disciplines to understand both the historic, economic, and psychological consequences of biases as well as the incredibly rich ways that our differences contribute to our history, culture, and art.”

According to the press release, both the grant and award will be given out each year, meaning the two programs would together cost in excess of $1 million after just 7 years if disbursements remain in line with the nearly $165,000 expended this year.

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