Columbia is not the only elite university promoting exclusionary hiring in a big way. The University of Pennsylvania has just announced that it will spend $100 million over the next five years "on hiring and retaining more diverse faculty members."
George Leef asks a very good question: "Why does it cost so much money to simply screen out all applicants who don't have the ancestry or other characteristics that make them diverse'"? In any event $100 million should buy a lot of "diversity," whatever the reason and in fact whatever "diversity" is.
Penn President Amy Gutmann said that data is "not available to track our progress for ... types of diversity [other than racial and gender diversity], but that in no way diminishes the importance of all types of diversity to Penn's educational mission and the vitality of its campus."
Gutmann also said that "all of those who are employed by Penn are asked to self-identify their race and gender after they are hired." Left unexplained was how Penn proposed to determine the race and gender of the new "diversity" applicants before they were hired, which you'd think would be necessary for a hiring program whose purpose is to increase gender-based and pigmentary "diversity." (See here for an almost humorous example from my experience of a department that did not avoid buying a pig in a poke in attempting to make a "diversity" hire.)
Also left unexplained is how Penn can attempt to hire and retain more "diverse" faculty members (defined whether wholly or partly by race, gender, and ethnicity) without running afoul of its own embarrassingly clear and forthright non-discrimination policies. Its Policy of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination, for example, could hardly be more clear:
Penn is committed to ensuring that all academic programs (except where age or sex are bona fide occupational qualifications), including social and recreational programs, and services are administered without regard to an individual's protected-class status.
Penn is also committed to ensuring that its personnel and other employment decisions are made without regard to an individual's protected-class status....
The blatant conflict between current practice and stated principle is enough to have led at least one observer (and one I know quite well) to comment on Preferences, Principles, and Hypocrisy in Higher Education.
In her pre-presidential scholarly career Penn President Amy Gutmann wrote widely about race, multiculturalism, and affirmative action. Perhaps in one of her now frequent conversations with the press she can explain how it is possible for the university to make a special effort to hire and retain "more diverse faculty members" -- especially a $100 million effort -- while studiously treating all prospective and current employees "without regard" to their race, gender, or ethnicity.