Ohio State Reports: The Rubrics

John D. Sailer

Yesterday, I released a set of “Faculty Diversity Recruitment Reports” from Ohio State University that show a familiar pattern: at Ohio State, faculty search committees consistently nixed job candidates solely on the basis of their diversity statements. (For more context, read my Wall Street Journal commentary piece, “Inside Ohio State’s DEI Factory.”)

This wasn’t just a one-off. Many other reports—acquired through a public records request and released exclusively below—show search committees using DEI as an explicit criterion on their evaluation rubrics, on par with teaching and research. For example:

  • An astrophysics search committee notes that “the DEI statement was given equal weight to the research and teaching statements.” The committee indicates that this practice was encouraged in the university’s “inclusive hiring” training.
  • In a search for a professor of Biological Anthropology, “the final score of the candidate was divided as 55% research (curricular fit, potential and productivity, future plans), 20% DEI, 20% teaching, 5% service. As such, DEI practices and experience was considered on the same level as teaching in this search.”

Moreover, many of these search committees use descriptive rubrics, showing exactly what they mean by “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” These rubrics are often blatantly ideological.

  • For a search in the Department of Molecular Genetics, the committee notes that “the diversity statement was used as a major criterion, along with the teaching statement and other criteria (research accomplishments, proposed research, funding), at every stage of the review process.” How exactly did they evaluate the statements? By using an adapted version of the now-infamous rubric developed by UC Berkeley, which awards a low score for job candidates who say that they plan to “treat everyone the same.”
  • The genetics department wasn’t alone. For a search in Art Education, the search committee notes that it also used the Berkeley rubric as a resource.

The lesson: whether you’re applying to work as a scientist or an art teacher, never say that you plan to treat your students equally.

  • A search for a professor of freshwater biology goes even further. The report notes that diversity statements were an “important component” of the review process, that every diversity statement was “screened twice,” and the evaluation of finalists “was based upon a weighted rubric of 67% research and 33% contribution to DEI.”
  • The committee used a rubric developed by Emory University that’s somehow even more ideologically charged than the Berkeley Rubric. The rubric explicitly rewards activism and adherence to a Kendian version of anti-racism—“that antiracism practices requires consistent and long-term growth, reflection, and engagement (and that they are prepared to put in this work).” Meanwhile, the rubric gives an immediate low score for certain “problematic approaches,” like if a candidate “solely acknowledges that racism, classism, etc. are issues in the academy.”

As I put it in the Wall Street Journal, “It isn’t enough for a freshwater biologist to believe that racism pervades higher education.”

By Maize & Blue Nation - DSC_7653.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64860822

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