No More DEI Statements from Prospective Employees in the University System of Georgia

The University System of Georgia (USG) will no longer require prospective or new employees to submit “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) statements.

According to Higher Ed Dive, the 26 schools in the system — which includes the University of Georgia and Georgia State University — can’t mandate that applicants or employees “submit any political litmus tests or ideological oaths, including personal statements related to diversity or supporting specific populations.”

But there might be a catch (emphasis added):

Instead, hiring officials can ask questions about an applicant’s experience supporting different student populations. The system said such questions can include “Tell us about a training program that you have developed or enhanced” and “How do you make the decision to delegate work?”

Is this an attempt to do an end-run around the DEI statement ban? The 14-page policy document (PDF) on recruitment lays out the kind of questions the employer legally can ask interviewees. Since no questions are permitted about race or color, is such a question intended to solicit statements about “diverse” populations?

Asking prospective employees about what training programs they developed is legitimate, but it could be akin to encouraging college applicants to hint about their race in personal statements after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled racial preferences in admissions unconstitutional.

Some colleges and universities have stopped admitting students based on race, and businesses have laid off their “diversity” program staffers. A rejected college or job applicant will have a cause of action if the rejection could be related to race or sex.

It remains to be seen what race-hinting questions USG recruitment managers may ask job applicants, but there’s no doubt the lawyers at America First Legal will keep their eyes on this one.

Photo credit: (Creative Commons) —  Some rights reserved

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