By Roberta Rampton, Washington •Posted February 04, 2019 12:50:00The Pacifica graduate school in California is not the only institution under fire for a lack of diversity.
A growing number of colleges and universities are under fire after the admissions process for their graduate programs, often by members of their faculty, often based on their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, national origin, religion or disability.
The university, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, math, medicine and public health, is among the most diverse in the country.
It is one of only two in the nation to offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Its diversity includes black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-Pacific Islander and other racial, ethnic and linguistic groups, as well as men and women.
The institute, whose president, James M. Brogan, said it has been “reluctant” to acknowledge its past history of racial discrimination and said the new leadership has pledged to “do better” to address such concerns, has drawn criticism for its handling of the 2016 election.
Its hiring of three black women to its executive team, including former New York Times executive editor Amy Waxman, prompted an online petition demanding an apology.
In response, Brogan said the school’s recent hiring of a diversity consultant was not a reflection of its current leadership, saying he was committed to hiring and retaining “great leaders in all areas of the institute.”
He also said the hiring of one of the women as executive vice president and director of diversity would ensure that diversity was not used to “sow division and hostility” in the academy.
The institution’s diversity committee, which includes nine members who are not faculty members, has met twice this year to address issues related to race and the hiring process, including a study of its hiring practices that concluded it was “a problem.”
In January, the institute’s dean of admissions, the late Kenneth S. Seltzer, wrote a letter to Brogan and the school community urging them to commit to addressing discrimination in the admissions office.
The letter noted that the institute had an annual retention rate of 92 percent.
The letter also cited studies showing that minorities and women have a harder time securing employment than other racial and ethnic groups.
Seltzer said the letter “underscores the importance of maintaining a commitment to diversity and inclusion” in hiring and the institute “does not seek to silence any voices on race.”
Brogan has said he plans to address racial discrimination in admissions to the institute.
“We are committed to addressing these issues,” Brogan wrote.
The Pacificas diversity committee will meet again next week to discuss the report.
The institute did not respond to a request for comment on the report, but in a statement released in December, the school said: “As the president has said repeatedly, we will do better.”
In December, Broagan wrote a series of tweets in which he pledged to improve the university’s efforts to attract and retain top talent and encourage it to be “the world’s premier research university.”
Brogan also pledged to continue to support diversity initiatives and to support and encourage academic freedom at the school, including its hiring and retention of diverse faculty and staff.
He also pledged that the school would create a diversity and equity office to oversee the institute, an initiative it said was “an important step in achieving that goal.”
He said he was also committed to improving the schools hiring and diversity practices, which have been under increasing scrutiny since last year.
The school has had to respond to the petitions that have gathered more than 100,000 signatures calling for its resignation, while other colleges and programs have had to acknowledge their biases or commit to hiring more diverse staff.
A majority of American colleges and university campuses are now considering hiring or expanding their hiring and hiring policies to prevent or address bias.
But the issue of racial and gender diversity in hiring is not one of them.
Brogan’s appointment last month to the position of chief diversity officer at Pacifica was the latest in a string of recent moves to address the issue.
A few weeks ago, Pacifica hired the former head of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, whose title was to oversee diversity and hiring practices, to oversee that effort.
The Institute of Medicine recently released a report saying that of the more than 7,000 universities, colleges and research centers across the country, about half had racial or gender diversity gaps in their hiring practices.