The University of Cincinnati to Request a Diversity Statement From All Job Applicants

cincinnatiFor the past five years, the University of Cincinnati has asked all applicants for faculty openings to submit a statement outlining the applicant’s contributions to diversity, inclusion, and leadership. Now the university is asking all applicants for staff positions to supply a diversity statement.

Applicants for administrative position will be asked to file a personal statement on their contributions to diversity efforts and/or the potential contributions to diversity, inclusion, or leadership that they plan to make if hired by the university.

Even applicants for hourly positions will be asked a question on their job applicants related to diversity. The question reads: “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.”

Tamie Grunow, senior associate vice president and chief human resources officer at the University of Cincinnati, explains that “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. 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.”

The University of Cincinnati receives approximately 63,000 job applications each year.

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  1. I applaud this unique attempt by UCincinnati to link institutional values with selection and development practices. While I’m sure that some will “game” the policy by submitting pablum that they have no intention of operationalizing, the policy at least puts prospective employees on notice that they are expected to do their part in advancing the university’s core values in advancing diversity. Other universities should follow UCin’s lead.

  2. This is a major step forward in institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion. Holding up the responses as contracts for job performance will be essential to the intended success of this institutional practice.

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