Ohio State University (OSU) has announced that it intends to employ 50 additional professors to focus on social and racial justice as part of a wider initiative that is estimated to cost millions of dollars a year.
The university’s president Kristina Johnson first announced the RAISE initiative, which stands for race, inclusion, and social equity, in her first ever State of the University address in February.
In her address, Johnson said the public university’s current mission is to hire a minimum of 350 net new tenure-track faculty–150 of whom will come from the new social justice-focused RAISE initiative.
Of the 150, 50 of the RAISE faculty will be “scientists, artists, and scholars whose work addresses social equity and racial disparities in fields such as health care, education, justice and public safety, resources and the environment, the arts and creative expression, economic opportunity and leadership,” Johnson said in her speech.
“The RAISE initiative will also include the goal of 100 underrepresented and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) hires in all fields of scholarship,” she added about the university’s hiring plans for new tenure-track faculty.
Johnson said that the initiative will allow OSU to build on “what is already world-class scholarship across our colleges.”
“We also want to ensure equity in terms of pay, promotions and career advancement for women and underrepresented minorities—for those wonderful people on our staff who do so much to support students and professors alike — as well as for those in our professoriate,” she said.
“I want every single Ohio State student to be able to look across the lecture hall or seminar table and understand immediately that their dreams are valid and achievable,” Johnson added.
James Moore, chief diversity officer and vice provost for diversity and inclusion, praised the move as an “opportunity for the university to produce a groundswell in terms of diversifying the faculty.”
“Diverse faculty attracts diverse students,” he said. “People gravitate to people who share similar experiences. And sometimes, those experiences are deeply connected to race, gender, geography, religion—a whole number of things.”
According to The College Fix, University of Michigan economics professor Mark Perry and a higher education watchdog previously calculated that OSU already has on its payroll more than 150 diversity-related employees that are costing $12 million per year.
OSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.
Last year, Perry calculated that OSU hired more than 100 staff to focus specifically on inclusion and diversity at a cost of $10 million per year.
He told The College Fix that he believes the public university’s hiring methods violate federal laws that ban hiring based on ethnicity or sex.
“I believe such hiring would violate Title VI’s prohibition of discrimination based on race and color and Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination,” Perry said of RAISE.