Cornell Student Assembly Votes Down Resolution for Ideological Diversity in Faculty


Diversity in skin color? That’s fine. Diversity in ideas? No way! Casey Breznick reports at the Cornell Review:

Cornell Student Assembly Says No to Faculty Diversity

The Student Assembly (SA) struck down a resolution that would have requested for the creation of a committee to “increase and improve faculty ideological diversity” in a 10-11-1 vote on Thursday.

SA President Jordan Berger ’17, who can only vote in the event of a tie, provided the necessary thumbs down to the proposed diversity initiative.

The resolution, titled “Expanding Ideological Diversity among Faculty Members”, was put forth by SA representative Mitchell McBride ’17 and cited a Cornell Sun report from 2015 that found over 96% of Cornell faculty political donations went to Democrat campaigns or liberal/progressive causes.

The resolution reads in part: “universities ought to be places where debate and dissent exists in order to ensure knowledge is expanded” and “students can create better arguments and challenge subtle assumptions when dealing with differing viewpoints.” The full resolution can be read here.

A number Cornell College Republicans also supported the proposal.

According to Irvin McCullough ’18, a Cornell Republicans member present at the meeting, opponents of the resolution mainly argued the following three points: (1) conservatives have not been historically oppressed as have other groups; (2) spending resources on intellectual diversity diverts resources from promoting other forms of diversity; and (3) conservative students are free to speak out in class if they find something disagreeable or wish to argue their own point of view…

William Jacobson, Review faculty sponsor and professor at the Cornell Law School, is perhaps Cornell’s most outspoken conservative faculty member and runs the popular legal and political blog Legal Insurrection.

In a statement Jacobson described the resolution as “moderate and reasonable,” and noted it called for a committee to study the issue and not a specific outcome about faculty hiring or makeup.

“The rejection of the Resolution seems to highlight the need for the relief sought in the Resolution,” Jacobson said.