Virginia Tech drops diversity requirement from tenure policy

April 15, 2009

The president of Virginia Tech has asked the provost to remove from the university’s new guidelines on tenure and promotion a requirement that professors show an "active involvement in diversity," which some conservative groups had criticized as a violation of academic freedom.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and other groups had complained that the condition amounted to a political litmus test and that it had nothing to do with professors’ academic accomplishments. It did not belong, they said, in guidelines on tenure and promotion.

The foundation, which is known as FIRE, wrote to Charles W. Steger, Virginia Tech’s president, last month, asking him to get rid of the requirement.

 

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Schools: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Cases: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: “Diversity” Requirement for Faculty Assessment Violates Academic Freedom and Freedom of Conscience