Merit system is unjust because it rewards productivity, according to advocates of ‘equity’ and ‘diversity’

Merit system is unjust because it rewards productivity, according to advocates of ‘equity’ and ‘diversity’

The “merit system is unjust because it rewards productive individuals, professors argue,” reports Campus Reform. Professors at the University of Arizona and University of Colorado contend “that ‘success and merit’ are ‘barriers” to the equity agenda”:

“Admitting that the normative definitions of success and merit are in and of themselves barriers to achieving the goals of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion is necessary but not sufficient to create change,” professors Beth Mitchneck and Jessi L. Smith recently wrote for Inside Higher Education….Specifically, they express concern that universities receive funding and recognition based on the individual performances of professors’ own work such as peer reviewed journals and studies….

The professors are not the only scholars in academia to critique the merit system. Last month, University of Illinois professor Eunmi Mun said that merit-based pay does not take “nonperformance-related factors” into account….Speaking with Campus Reform, Mun said, “[M]erit-based pay systems may increase the gender gap in bonus pay, which is more sensitive to individual performance than base pay.”

Both Mitchneck and Smith do recognize examples of universities attempting to add a ‘mission of DEI’ [diversity, equity, and inclusion] to their programs and recognition system. However, they argue that those efforts are insufficient.

“While these examples stand out for the good, that is, in many ways, the problem,” the professors write. “While we can point to the few institutions that are trying to change merit structures, many others seem resistant to change.”

LU Staff

LU Staff

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