The Impact of Chief Diversity Officers on Diverse Faculty Hiring

Sep 16, 2018 by

Image result for waste of money photosSteven W. Bradley, James R. Garven, Wilson W. Law, James E. West

NBER Working Paper No. 24969
Issued in August 2018
NBER Program(s):Economics of Education, Labor Studies, Public Economics

A new Baylor University study has discovered that chief diversity officers — who are typically paid upwards of $180,000 — are ineffective at one of their major job responsibilities: increasing diversity among faculty and administrators.

The study, “The Impact of Chief Diversity Officers on Diverse Faculty Hiring” was published in September by four Baylor University professors, including Steven Bradley, a professor of entrepreneurship at the school.

“Three years ago, there was a campus-wide discussion of whether to hire a CDO,” Bradley told PJ Media on Thursday. Supporters of the CDO position claimed it would help increase faculty diversity, in turn helping minority students feel safe on campus.

As the American college student population has become more diverse, the goal of hiring a more diverse faculty has received increased attention in higher education. A signal of institutional commitment to faculty diversity often includes the hiring of an executive level chief diversity officer (CDO). To examine the effects of a CDO in a broad panel data context, we combine unique data on the initial hiring of a CDO with publicly available faculty and administrator hiring data by race and ethnicity from 2001 to 2016 for four-year or higher U.S. universities categorized as Carnegie R1, R2, or M1 institutions with student populations of 4,000 or more. We are unable to find significant statistical evidence that preexisting growth in diversity for underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups is affected by the hiring of an executive level diversity officer for new tenure and non-tenure track hires, faculty hired with tenure, or for university administrator hires.

Source: The Impact of Chief Diversity Officers on Diverse Faculty Hiring

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