Community colleges in California are considering adding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) competencies to faculty evaluations.
A proposal this month from California Community Colleges, the country’s largest higher education system, would make “DEI competencies” a formal condition for teachers to get promoted or receive tenure.
The proposal adds an “A” for accessibility to DEI.
“To embed DEIA competencies and criteria as a minimum standard for evaluating employees, the Chancellor’s Office is proposing new regulatory language that makes DEIA-focused competencies and criteria a minimum standard and a system-wide requirement,” reads the March 11 notice from the Chancellor’s Office.
In addition to making DEIA competencies mandatory for employee evaluations, the new policies would also place “significant emphasis” on DEIA competencies in the tenure review processes, meaning it will influence decisions on whether an employee gets tenure, according to the proposal.
The new policies would also require community college districts to include “self-reflection” as well as a “comprehensive evaluation from appropriate evaluators who reflect a range of perspectives on an employee’s performance.”
“The evaluation process shall provide employees an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of DEIA and anti-racist principles, including how the employee has operationalized DEIA in the performance of their job responsibilities,” the proposal reads.
The proposal also says employees will be provided with professional development opportunities for DEIA competencies that will contribute to creating an “inclusive campus and classroom culture” and “equitable student outcomes.”
The proposed DEIA competencies and criteria are a “baseline for districts and colleges to incorporate into their own local processes,” according to the proposal.
“The DEIA competencies and criteria align with the system’s ongoing initiatives and priorities, including upskilling all CCC employees with opportunities for continuous improvement and growth, and to support student success and retention by creating inclusive, anti-racist institutions, pedagogy, and curriculum that are reflective of the system’s diverse student body,” the notice from the Chancellor’s Office reads. “It is well documented that all students benefit from diverse faculty, staff, curriculum, and learning environments leading to an increased sense of belonging, academic and personal validation, and retention.”
Back in 2019, the community college system adopted a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Integration Plan featuring a laundry list of ideas for how to incorporate DEI. One of the ideas reads, “Encourage diversity-focused criteria in employee evaluations and tenure review.” This month’s proposal would make that suggestion mandatory.
The California Community Colleges education system is massive. The system includes 116 community colleges, more than 2.1 million students, and nearly 58,000 academic staff members.
Over the last several years, companies and local governments have spent billions of dollars on DEI programs, many of which have ultimately failed.
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