Cornell University: Diversity-Statement Mandate and Proposed Faculty Educational Requirement Compel Faculty to Affirm Certain Viewpoints

Category: Free Speech, Freedom of Conscience
Schools: Cornell University

In April 2021, as part of Cornell’s anti-racism initiative, a Faculty Senate working group issued a report proposing an “educational requirement” for faculty, which would require that faculty candidates for renewal, promotion, or tenure submit a statement of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In a June 7 letter to Cornell, FIRE called on the university to reject the proposed requirements — and eliminate its current DEI mandate for applicants for faculty positions — as violative of faculty members’ academic freedom and freedom of conscience. Cornell responded on June 8 that it “will be sure to take [FIRE’s] viewpoints into consideration as the process moves forward.”