Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies

Juliet Eilperin, Emma Brown and Darryl Fears
May 29, 2017

The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights.

As outlined in Labor’s fiscal 2018 plan, the move would fold the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, now home to 600 employees, into another government agency in the name of cost-cutting.

Read full story on The Washington Post.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Controversy Over Diversity Office at Salem College

Scott Jaschik
May 30, 2017

Salem College, which faced protests this year from minority students, has dismissed the head of its Office of Diversity and Inclusiveness, The Winston-Salem Journal reported. The college says that it is upgrading the office and will seek to hire a vice president to lead it. But minority students are criticizing the plan, saying that the current office and director provide important support.

Read full story on Inside Higher Ed

Storm Over Sexual Orientation

Though a new pro-LGBTQ group on Samford University’s campus has been approved by both students and faculty, it has roiled Alabama Baptists.

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
May 30, 2017



Last month, the president of Samford University gave remarks just before professors voted on a controversial new student group. It's one centered on discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity, from a sympathetic perspective rather than a critical one, which would seemingly prompt friction among the constituents of the private, Baptist institution.

“Many of us who hold what are known as ‘traditional’ views of marriage and human sexuality today are called ‘haters,’” said President Andrew Westmoreland, according to a transcript of his comments. “The term is intended to hurt, and it does. So volleys fly back and forth between camps while positions and hearts are hardened, and we run the risk, the very serious risk, that we will drive away from our churches and our universities and our families a generation that thinks about these questions in different ways than we have known. I choose not to walk that path, because brokenness already abounds and I am loathe to add to it. I believe that we are people who are capable of discussing differences without rancor, perhaps modeling for our students and others a way to move along this most tortured route.”

Read full story on Inside Higher Ed. 

Analyzing Black Lives Matter Without Black People Involved

Political philosophy journal, subject of two scathing open letters, apologizes for lack of black authors.

Scott Jaschik
May 30, 2017

The June issue of The Journal of Political Philosophy devotes more than 60 pages to a three-author “symposium” on the Black Lives Matter movement.

The journal is now apologizing for doing so without including the work of black philosophers. And the controversy has drawn attention to the journal's generally poor record of publishing black scholars or, prior to the symposium, scholarship on issues related to race.

Read full story on Inside Higher Ed. 

Who Defines What Is Racist?

Students demand firing of Evergreen State professor. Police chief urges him to stay off campus for his safety. Supporters say he’s the one upholding principles of equity.

Scott Jaschik
May 30, 2017

In the heated debates of campus politics these days, it is not unusual for some groups (on or off campus) to demand the firing of a faculty member. But the rancor at Evergreen State College over the last week stands out. There, a professor whom some students want fired was told by the campus police chief that, out of concern for his safety, he should stay off campus for a few days. He did, teaching a class nearby in Olympia, Wash., and is not sure when he can return to campus.

The professor's critics say he's racist, and groups of students have been holding demonstrations -- sometimes turning into marches across campus and impromptu searches for the professor. They have been chanting that racist professors must be fired. Bret Weinstein (right), a biology professor, is the main target and is the faculty member who moved his class off campus. "Fire Bret" graffiti is visible on campus. But students are also demanding the dismissals of one or more police officers, that the campus police sell off all of its weapons and various other policy changes.

Read full story on Inside Higher Ed.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Trump’s Proposed EEOC-OFCCP Merger May Need Congressional Action

Jay-Anne B. Casuga and Kevin McGowan
May 24, 2017

President Donald Trump proposed merging the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a Labor Department subagency tasked with monitoring federal contractors’ affirmative action and nondiscrimination compliance.

The EEOC and the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs would be combined to create “one agency to combat employment discrimination,” according to the president’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018.

Read full story here.

Employer and Civil Rights Groups Oppose Merger of EEOC and OFCCP

Allen Smith
May 24, 2017



An item in President Trump's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 met immediate resistance on Capitol Hill and among employer and civil rights groups: merging the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) into the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), creating one agency to combat employment discrimination.

"OFCCP and EEOC will work collaboratively to coordinate this transition to the EEOC by the end of FY 2018," the proposed budget states. "This builds on the existing tradition of operational coordination between the two agencies. The transition of OFCCP and integration of these two agencies will reduce operational redundancies, promote efficiencies, improve services to citizens and strengthen civil rights enforcement."

Read full story here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fresh but untested

Moon's laudable tapping of female foreign minister carries challenges

The Korea Times
May 24, 2107

President Moon Jae-in's designation of Kang Kyung-wha as foreign minister would score 90 out of a perfect 100 points merely for the fact that she would be the first woman to hold the office if confirmed by the National Assembly. 

But what makes the appointment a success or failure is how well Kang, a former United Nations deputy commissioner for human rights, will score out of the remaining 10 points. 

Read full story here

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Implications of Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court Confirmation

By AAAED Executive Director Shirley Wilcher



On April 7, 2017, the Senate confirmed Judge Neil M. Gorsuch of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as the 101st associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, replacing the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. The confirmation was based on a party-line vote of 54-45, and only three Democrats voted with the majority.

This vote was significant for several reasons, both procedural and substantive. The vote set a precedent that will have an impact on the way Supreme Court justices are confirmed for the foreseeable future. It may also have implications regarding issues of interest to the higher education and diverse communities.

Read full story on Insight Into Diversity.

Affirmative action programs mischaracterized as quota systems

May 17, 2017
St. Louis Post Dispatch



The letters about Justice Clarence Thomas’ criticisms of affirmative action are interesting. It is a fact that Thomas’ consideration for and acceptance of enrollment at College of the Holy Cross was prompted by the school’s affirmative action outreach initiative to recruit and consider more minority applicants. Why he accepted the enrollment offer, believing it was devaluing, is a mystery. Did he know for a fact that he was accepted over other, more-qualified non-minorities? Or does he just assume that because the school’s outreach initiative was affirmative?

Conservatives have always mischaracterized affirmative action programs solely as unconstitutional quota systems that force managers to select specific numbers of minorities regardless of their qualifications. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was largely about businesses expanding their recruitment horizons beyond past practices, which produced few minority candidates to consider.

Read full story here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What it's like to be the target of racist incidents on campus

Sara Sidner
May 16, 2017



(CNN)Taylor Dumpson was elated. On May 1, she became student government president at American University -- the first African-American woman ever to hold the job.

But less then 24 hours after she officially took office, her joy turned to pain. Dumpson got a message from a friend as she was on her way to campus. Bananas had been found hanging from nooses at three spots on the university's Washington campus, her friend said.

Read full story on CNN.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity Honors Local Icons of Diversity at its Annual Awards Ceremony

Arizona Diamondbacks and other outstanding advocates of Diversity in Higher Education and private industry are among the Award recipients at the Association’s 43rd National Conference and Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ June 8th.

May 12, 2017

The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, announced the 2017 honorees of its annual awards program. Several of the awards will be given to local individuals and organizations including the Arizona Diamondbacks. The awards will be conferred during the Association’s 43rd National Conference and Annual Meeting themed: "We are known by the tracks that we leave.” The theme recognizes the importance of ensuring that conference attendees are developing and leaving a more diverse and inclusive legacy than they found.

The annual meeting will be held at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, 4949 East Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, Arizona 85253. The Awards Luncheon will take place on Thursday, June 8th at noon. "We are pleased to recognize these distinguished individuals and organizations in Arizona for their contributions to the cause of access, equity and diversity,” said Dr. Myron Anderson, AAAED President. "Great honor is due to these local trailblazers who have been outstanding in their fields,” added AAAED Conference Chair Rosemary Cox. The awards reception is open to the press.

The 2017 AAAED Awards Honorees from Arizona are:

  • Dr. Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College, Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Dr. Bryan Brayboy and Kenja Hassan, Arizona State University, Rosa Parks Award
  • Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission and Alan "AP" Powell, Chairman of the Checkered Flag Run Foundation, Edward M. Kennedy Community Service Award
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks, Roosevelt Thomas Champion of Diversity Award

Real full story here



Thursday, May 11, 2017

Howard University Refused To Help Suicidal Rape Victims, Explosive Lawsuit Claims

Tyler Kingkade
May 10, 2017



Howard University failed to swiftly handle sexual assault reports, leading to at least one assailant raping on campus again, a federal lawsuit claims. What's more, the Washington, DC school refused to provide the help that suicidal rape victims requested and let an accused rapist who was an RA have access to a key to his alleged victim’s dorm room, according to the complaint filed Wednesday.

The university's handling of the sexual assault cases pushed two of the plaintiffs, referred to in the suit as Jane Does 1 through 5, to leave Howard's campus due to concerns about safety and their mental health.

Read full story here.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Suicide and Title IX

Two lawsuits -- one involving accused student’s suicide and another about an attempt -- have added fire to the continued debate over how colleges handle complaints of sexual assault.

Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
May 2, 2017

In recent years, critics of the Obama administration's approach to sexual assault reporting have charged that colleges are denying the rights of the accused.

Conservative websites, primarily, in the last few weeks have focused two pending lawsuits against universities. The suits say that after allegedly bungled investigations into sexual assault accusations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a University of Texas at Arlington student killed himself and a Cornell University student attempted to do so.

Read full story in Inside Higher Ed.

Student Killed, 3 Wounded in Attack at UT Austin

Doug Lederman
May 2, 2107

One University of Texas at Austin student was stabbed to death and three other students were hospitalized after an attack Monday afternoon, The Austin-American Statesman reported. Austin and UT police identified Kendrex White, a 20-year-old junior, as the alleged attacker. He reportedly used what police described as a "large, bowie-style hunting knife" to carry out the attack. White was taken into custody immediately after the attack.

The university called off classes and events Monday afternoon and evening. In a statement, President Greg Fenves said, "There are no words to describe my sense of loss. Campus safety is our highest priority, and we will investigate this tragic incident to the greatest extent possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, the witnesses to the crime, and every member of Longhorn nation. We all mourn today."

Read full story on Inside Higher Ed.