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Has there been any examples of office of student affairs or office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) or equivalent offices in university administrations providing (direct and nontrivial) input in the hiring, evaluation, and promotion of (academic) faculty?

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  • Hard to prove that there never has been. One can easily imagine the office of student affairs bringing up cases where a promotion candidate has not followed university policy, particularly if they were found in the wrong and punished in some way.
    – Jon Custer
    May 3 at 16:10
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    Probably not in individual cases. But they might be involved in setting policy.
    – Buffy
    May 3 at 16:16
  • I agree with @Buffy. In the University of California system for example, contributions to diversity are taken into account (at least to some extent) in promotion and hiring decisions in all cases following standard university policy. That policy was no doubt conceived with assistance from the types of offices you’re asking about. But I’m not aware of a more direct type of influence.
    – Dan Romik
    May 3 at 17:39
  • I meant to type precedents. I'm not aware of any current examples, so it's mainly a question of existence of such practice. Prevalence would work too.
    – Bilbo
    May 3 at 19:47
  • Search in U. California system, specifically, UC Berkeley,UCLA, Cal State Universities. If there were examples, there were in CA.
    – markvs
    May 3 at 21:17

1 Answer 1

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There are usually rare cases of just about everything. However:

An office of diversity would most likely be involved in setting policy that other parts of the university must adhere to. But, in the US, at least, those are unlikely to affect individual cases other than at the margin. Diversity is still a difficult problem that has few answers, partly because it is contentious. (I have no experience outside the US.)

The office of student affairs will often collect complaints from students. Those that can't be handled immediately will probably be passed on to other administrators that have direct responsibility for faculty. So, enough complaints, forwarded to the department chair might well have an effect on tenure or promotion, but it would be more likely to be other than direct involvement by student affairs.


While the above is a view of what happens officially, who can say what goes on in private meetings. A faculty member with a sufficiently bad reputation that reflects badly on the university, might be handled sub-rosa.

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  • Policy has some influence. We also have to go through a DEI training to be on a search committee. I have definitely seen committee members incorporate what they learned into their hiring.
    – Dawn
    May 3 at 18:10
  • @Dawn. one would hope that policy has some influence.
    – Buffy
    May 3 at 19:06
  • Having an affair with a student likely will impact promotion in many places...
    – Jon Custer
    May 3 at 20:19

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