Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Guest Post on Nondiscrimination

My colleague Margo Seltzer, after reading the newly released report of the USGSO Implementation Committee, found it so admirable that she offered a modest proposal, reproduced here with permission, about how it could be adopted ever so slightly for faculty use. Red is text deleted from the committee recommendations, bold is the suggested replacement. (Yes, I will have something to say about all this in due course--I am waiting for the "faculty committee to assess whether the USGSO policy can be improved, either by changing aspects of its existing structure or through some broader revision.")

Each social organization FAS department seeking to transition to an inclusive status should submit a written request to the Harvard College Office of Student Life FAS Faculty Affairs and Planning office providing details in the following areas:

• Plans to achieve diversity, particularly gender inclusion across a full spectrum of gender identities, in membership and governance of the organization department;
• Processes for open new member selection inclusive hiring practices
• Removal of financial barriers to membership and participation;
• Detailed standards of behavior for all who participate in the organization’s activities departmental interviews, faculty review, and votes on promotion.

Following acceptance of the transition plan, the organization department must implement the plan and publicly affirm Harvard values of non-discrimination, noting the changes in organizational policy on their websites, Facebook pages, and other promotional materials. Following the model of Harvard College’s Honor Code, the head of the organization department chair must also sign the following document on its behalf: “On behalf of __________, I affirm my organization’s department’s awareness of the College’s policy regarding the principle of non-discrimination in our policies, practices, governance, and membership and our compliance with that policy in all its aspects. 

Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s make faculty sign an oath as suggested for students:

I affirm my awareness of the College’s policy regarding the principle of non-discrimination, particularly with regard to membership in unrecognized single-gender social organizations inclusivity in faculty hiring. In taking a leadership faculty position in a department student organization/applying for a sponsored grant or fellowship/becoming a varsity athletic team captain, I affirm my compliance with that policy.

1 comment:

  1. Harvard is in the best position in the world to have successful and inclusive hiring practices. This proposal seems to suggest that such practices would entail a loss of quality. Hasn't Harvard gotten past such thinking?