The Ohio State University plans to make 150 of its new 350 tenure-track faculty hires based on race and ethnicity as part of its new race, inclusion, and social equity initiative (RAISE).
"At least 50 of our 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 — building on what is already world-class scholarship across our colleges," said University President Kristina Johnson in February.
Johnson also said that an additional 100 faculty will be "underrepresented and [Black, Indigenous, and People of Color] hires in all fields of scholarship."
University Chief Diversity Officer James Moore said "diverse faculty attracts diverse students," and that the RAISE initiative would help more students "gravitate" toward the school.
Economics Professor Mark Perry of the University of Michigan – a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute – said that the hires would cost $23.6 million a year.
He also warned that hiring based on race would violate the university's non-discrimination policies and federal civil rights laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
"It's my opinion that OSU would be in violation of federal civil rights laws if they make hiring decisions for the RAISE initiative by giving preferences to faculty candidates on the basis of sex, color, race, ethnicity, etc.," Perry said.
Perry also noted that OSU is currently under federal investigation for multiple programs that excluded men.
"Either OSU is unaware of federal civil rights laws or it thinks it's above the law; either way, it's a sad indictment of OSU's practices of brazenly violating the civil rights of thousands of its students, staff, and faculty," he said.