New Hiring Policy at UC Requires Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

In an effort to ensure future faculty and staff who support its mission, the University of Cincinnati (UC) is now requiring that all job candidates submit “diversity and inclusion statements” along with their regular application materials.

The new policy coincides with the university’s effort to hire more historically underrepresented employees, a goal outlined in UC’s 2011-2016 “Diversity Action Plan,” which specifically calls for more African Americans and women. This requirement also applies to candidates for student-worker and hourly positions at the university.

UC released a press release June 22 explaining the new policy: “… Applicants will be asked to submit a personal statement summarizing his or her contributions (or potential contributions) to diversity, inclusion, and leadership.”

All applicants must respond to the following statement: “As an equal-opportunity employer with a diverse staff and student population, we are interested in how your qualifications prepare you to work with faculty, staff, and students from cultures and backgrounds different from your own.”

According to UC’s press release, the university receives approximately 63,000 applications each year for its open positions and, at any one time, has nearly 400 job vacancies.

Tamie Grunow, senior associate vice president and chief human resources officer at UC, said the measure is intended to clarify the university’s expectations of faculty and staff and establish diversity and inclusion as a campus-wide priority.

“This application request recognizes that the university is a diverse environment and signals that diversity and inclusion are important enough that we’re asking applicants about contributions or potential contributions up front,” she said in a statement. “We’re all better off with diversity in our lives, and it’s part of demonstrating our commitment to diversity and inclusion and setting expectations and priorities.”

Although the policy took effect July 1, it was tested prior to that during UC’s recent search for a new on-campus police chief and assistant police chief. Nearly 70 applicants applied, and last month, UC announced the hiring of Anthony Carter, an African American man, to chief and Maris Herold, a white woman, as assistant chief.

Both are said to have played “key roles in the reform of the Cincinnati Police Department during the last 15 years.” According to campus officials, they also “demonstrate a commitment to evidence-based and community policing … [and] understand the needs of a complex, diverse urban campus.”