The University of California San Diego is requiring new assistant professors in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to address issues of “race and racism.”
According to a job application posted to the university’s website, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is hiring an assistant professor that must be able to “design and teach undergraduate courses that align with the African American Studies Minor (AASM) and the Black Diaspora and African American Studies Major,” or supplement it by creating a course that fulfills the school’s “Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion requirement.”
Candidates must also have completed research or service that has advanced “anti-racism, anti-oppression, equity, and justice.” Hired faculty will be asked to engage with scholars across disciplines to “address issues of race and racism, access and equity, and social and political influences focused on STEM/Public Health/Health Sciences.”
“We welcome candidates whose experiences have facilitated their understanding of traditionally underrepresented racial minority communities,” the job description reads. “Faculty are expected to have an inclusive stance on mentoring and advising that incorporates working with women and underrepresented racial minority undergraduate and graduate students.”
UC San Diego is also hiring an assistant professor in the oceanography department that will focus on climate change’s impact on racial disparities. According to the job description, areas of research for the position include “racial disparities in the impacts of climate change and variability, natural hazards, pollution, ecosystem changes, and food security.” Candidates are encouraged to highlight their existing research “on issues of racial diversity and inclusion within their scientific communities.”
Candidates for associate and full-time professor roles in engineering must also have completed research or advanced “anti-racism, anti-oppression, equity, and justice in Engineering and/or Computer Science.”
The university has created a new partnership between STEM fields and the school’s Black Diaspora and African American Studies major. Eight of the STEM campus units have promised to hire 13 scientists who will explore “Black and African American experiences” in issues such as biological and physical sciences, engineering, medicine, health, and the environment.
Other departments partaking in the partnership include the Division of Physical Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Public Health, Data Science Institute, and School of Medicine.
The stated goal of the new faculty is to “cultivate Black intellectual spaces on campus, model excellence and increase support for Black undergraduate and graduate students, utilize interdisciplinary collaborations to address issues of race and racism, and integrate knowledge about race and racism within all campus divisions.”
According to the faculty recruitment page, faculty will work primarily with “graduate students focused on intersections of Blackness and STEM.”
The job application does not explicitly require that candidates for these positions be racial minorities, though NBC San Diego reported that the school obtained $700,000 for new hiring efforts to “recruit more diverse faculty to better reflect the statewide population, and to foster an inclusive campus climate.”