United States / 04-06-2012
New York - The City University of New York (CUNY), located in one of the most diverse cities in the world, has caused state-wide outrage with their new diversity plan.
In an effort to ensure that hiring is a more inclusive process for minorities, CUNY has decided to designate “White/Jewish” as distinct from “White.” And although the University claims it was responding to the calls of faculty members, not everyone sees the move as Kosher.
“I think it goes to the idea of ‘We have enough of this group, let’s get more of that group,’ ” said state Assemblyman Dov Hikind . “Diversity is a wonderful thing, but I think the university should hire the best and most qualified educators. If that means all professors are Asian, so be it.”
David Gordon, a history professor at Bronx Community College and the CUNY Graduate Center, was also outraged: “this is, as far as I know, the first time a religion has been introduced into any affirmative-action document,” he said. “What would the response be to a category ‘White/Methodist?’ Silly? Irrelevant?”
CUNY spokesman Michael Arena, responded to the allegations, telling reporters that, “in addition to a group organized for white faculty, some faculty expressed a strong affinity and need for a focus group comprised of Jewish faculty members. Such a group was assembled, and it contributed to the effort of gathering facts and opinions from a wide cross section of groups at CUNY campuses.”
But other professors fear that the label will lead to less Jewish professors being hired, if there is a concern the “minority group” is overrepresented.
One professor went as far as to remark sarcastically, “I can get yellow stars to put on my colleagues’ arms,” referring to the badges that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi-occupied Europe.