‘Viewpoint Diversity’ In The Hiring Process
By Nethani Palmani | Mar 06, 2017 12:16 AM EST
Volokh Conspiracy, a blog written by law professors, has been considering "viewpoint diversity" a little too much. The group blatantly argue that if viewpoint diversity is important to American universities, it must be also made important in the hiring process.
People who are concerned about them, on the other side, have been writing open letters to the Association of American Law Schools, earnestly imploring them to investigate the dearth of these conservative and libertarian professors, according to The Washington Post. With the running confusion, let's first discuss what "viewpoint diversity" means in the hiring context.
"Diversity" in itself refers to individuals from groups that face systemic discrimination based on immutable characteristics, and whose underrepresentation in the legal academy is a product of that discrimination as it compounded itself over the years. Fast forward a decade and the problem worsens because a generation of scholars who might have joined the profession are left outside.
This has eventually resulted in the professional interest in "viewpoint diversity". Above The Law puts "viewpoint diversity" in the context of hiring bluntly as "getting judged on content, and not the color of your skin, or your sex, or gender identification, or religion, or national origin".
There has been a growing intolerance among universities in the United States, not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines and that appears to be a laudable progress. It describes a type of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness, that is the "viewpoint diversity" antithesis of what universities should actually stand for.
In contrary to that, libertarians see decisions based on "imperfect" factors like comfortability and tradition and try to find any way to approve their "discrimination". Instead of doing that, lawyers should be trained to teach students to understand and get into the arguments of those with differing outlooks, interests, and orientations. It requires developing the ability to understand and articulate points of view that one does not believe, which what really implements "viewpoint diversity".
However, no matter where this whole inquiry goes, the "viewpoint diversity" terminology should be first applying political correctness before venturing into the context of hiring. If it doesn't, it can be just as descriptive and doesn't come across valid for the actual discussion of the future of law scholars.