"Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" Statement for a Merit Raise

Stephen Bainbridge

Professor Stephen Bainbridge of the University of California Los Angeles has been required by UCLA to write a Diversity Statement as part of the process of receiving a merit raise in salary. He has published his Statement on his blog. NAS believes this is an admirable response to a requirement to submit a Diversity Statement. We repost Professor Bainbridge's Diversity Statement, with permission.

As regular readers know, I'm up for a merit raise at UCLAW this year and am now required to submit a statement of how I contribute to the University's goals in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I have just emailed the statement to the administration. It reads as follows:

Although I am aware and respectful of the many dimensions within which a university properly seeks a diverse faculty and student body, I have long been particularly concerned with the lack of intellectual diversity at the law school. A survey of U.S. law professors in general found that white Democratic professors (both male and female), Jewish professors, and nonreligious professors “account for most (or all) of the overrepresentation among racial, gender, religious, and ideological groups in law teaching.”[1] The groups that “account for most of the underrepresentation among racial, gender, religious, and ideological groups in law teaching” are Republicans (both male and female), Protestants, and Catholics.[2] This disparity persists even though “religious and political diversity are probably more important for viewpoint diversity than gender diversity and roughly as important as racial diversity.”[3]

At UCLA, we know that the campus as a whole leans substantially to the left. “A study of various university faculties showed that at Cornell the ratio of liberal to conservative faculty members was 166 to 6, at Stanford it was 151 to 17, at UCLA it was 141 to 9, and at the University of Colorado it was 116 to 5.”[4] Conservative students at UCLA have been “harassed, stalked, and threatened.”[5] I recently searched the opensecrets.org donor database for political contributions made by persons who claimed UCLA School of Law as their employer. Thirty-eight of those persons contributed solely to Democratic candidates, the Democratic Party and various affiliates, and liberal PACs. One person contributed to both Republicans and Democrats. Three persons contributed exclusively to Republican candidates, the Republican Party, and various NRC affiliates. Of the faculty members who contributed exclusively to Republican candidates, the most recently hired of the two was hired in 1997. As a monetary matter, 92.67% of all contributions went to Democrats and affiliated groups.[6]

Because conservative students and students of faith often feel alienated and estranged in an environment that is so relentlessly liberal and secular, I have made particular efforts to reach out to and support such students. I have served as a mentor for leaders of The Federalist Society and Christian Law Students Association. I have given talks to both organizations. I taught a Perspectives on law and Lawyering seminar devoted to Catholic Social Thought and the Law, which gave students—whether Catholic or not—an opportunity to consider how their faith (or lack thereof) related to the law and an opportunity to learn about a coherent body of Christian scholarship that might inform their lives as lawyers. I have also tried to lead by example, such as by serving as a volunteer with the Good Shepherd Catholic Church’s St. Vincent de Paul chapter, which raises funds for distribution to poor persons who are in danger of losing their home due to inability to make rent or mortgage payments.

I'll let you know if I get the raise.

 

[1] James Lindgren, Measuring Diversity: Law Faculties in 1997 and 2013, 39 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Policy 89, 93 (2016).

[2] Id.

[3] Id. at 99.

[4] Patrick M. Garry, The Next Step in Diversity: Extending the Logic Grutter v. Bollinger to Faculty Tenure, 82 Denv. U. L. Rev. 1, 24 (2004).

[5] Joe Dryden, Protecting Diverse Thought in the Free Marketplace of Ideas: Conservatism and Free Speech in Higher Education, 23 Tex. Rev. L. & Pol. 229, 260 (2018) (citing a January 18, 2017, Daily Bruin article).

[6] Political Contributions by UCLA School of Law Faculty and Staff Go 92.67% to Democrats/Liberal Groups,” ProfessorBainbridge.com. Accessed December 23, 2019.https://www.professorbainbridge.com/professorbainbridgecom/2019/12/political-contributions-by-ucla-school-of-law-faculty-and-staff-go-9267-to-democratsliberal-groups.html.


Image: Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

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