University of Arizona student Katie Jones says some of the school’s professors are clamoring for administrators to implement new hiring policies based on race and not merit, to “even out the numbers.”

From 2009 to this year, 40 Asian, 3 black and 12 Latino educators were hired, in addition to two scholars who are “two or more races,” and 178 white educators, according to university figures recently reported on in the Daily Wildcat newspaper.

Apparently that is an outrage to some.

“They should be ordering every dean and not giving a raise to any dean, I would hope, until they do something about it … We’re not doing shit,” Andrew Silverman, a retired University of Arizona law professor, was quoted in the Wildcat as saying at a recent faculty senate meeting. “We’re not doing anything in this university. Look at these figures.”

However, the comments come on the heels of a new policy implemented in August that tasks campus hiring committees to have at least one person from outside its department on the panel. The policy also calls on committee members to attend a workshop that teaches about unconscious bias, the newspaper reports.

At the meeting, Silverman said administrators should order staff to increase diversity, as opposed to teaching it through workshops, but administrators voiced concerns about breaking the law, the Wildcat reports.

…Comments posted after the article offered a variety of perspectives on the issue. Some were supportive.

“Why is the assumption … that if minority then not qualified or meritorious?” posted a commenter named Prof. Martinez. “I’ve served on hiring committees and have seen both the CVs and other qualifications of these ‘minority’ candidates, and 9 times out of ten they are overly-qualified and overly-accomplished when compared to their white applicant counterparts. They have to be more meritorious just to be taken serious by these hiring committees, and still we see these disparities. It’s not about merit ya’ll, it’s about the institution reproducing sameness.”

Others were not so convinced.

…Said another: “What does the color or the ethnicity of a professor have to do with the quality of education I receive? I would think the UA would hire based on merit and proven success. Not once have I had a class where I thought damn I wish this professor was a minority he would know so much more biochemistry.”