Amid the current environment of racially-charged rhetoric, protests, and riots, George Mason University’s president Gregory Washington announced that he would consider giving minorities a preference in the hiring process.
According to Legal Insurrection, Washington sent an e-mail to the university’s faculty members in mid-April, which noted that diversity should trump other qualifications in applicants. He said, “If you have two candidates who are both ‘above the bar’ in terms of requirements for a position, but one adds to your diversity and the other does not, then why couldn’t that candidate be better, even if that candidate may not have better credentials than the other candidate?”
The university president added, “Study after study has proven that the most diverse organizations, which recognize the importance of maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment, are the best performing organizations.”
His suggestions hint at potential violations of racial discrimination laws, which could bring a slew of lawsuits if some applicants felt the hiring process was unfair.
George Mason is a state-funded institution in the northern Virginia suburb of Fairfax, which is located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It has been a focal point of an anti-conservative donor lawsuit in the past, where left-wing activists tried to force the university to disclose its private donors to conservative and libertarian programs at the university. The lawsuit was rejected on the grounds that the university’s private foundation did not have to follow state public records laws.