Grand Valley State University: Political Litmus Test in Music Department's Job Requirements


Grand Valley State University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On April 17, 2009, Grand Valley State University posted a job opening for a visiting professor of music (flute) that required a “demonstrated commitment to the principles of diversity.” On June 18, FIRE wrote to the university’s president, noting that the music department had been imposing these sorts of requirements for years. On July 9, the university responded, telling FIRE that the department’s requirements were “bona fide occupational qualifications of education, training and experience that are relevant to the faculty position.” The university acknowledged, however, that applicants could misread the requirement as unlawfully restrictive. The university promised to revise the requirements.