Physics ranked first in priority for hiring full-time faculty amid debate about how race data can be used


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The Instructional Planning and Budget Team ranked the Physics department first priority and Communications second priority for hiring full-time faculty on June 1, ending weeks of debate about which departments are underfunded and how data about race should be used.

IPBT members examined racial diversity statistics within academic departments at De Anza College using self-reported data.

“When making a decision looking at data, data weighs that decision one way or another,” said Ricky Maynard, an automotive technology instructor. “I have yet to hear how this information about the ethnic makeup of a department is supposed to weigh the decision.”

Salvador Guerrero, a math instructor and member of the IPBT, also questioned how De Anza accounts for racial diversity during the hiring process, since California has banned consideration of race in public employment..

“We asked questions in passing, but realistically how can we possibly use that data when hiring has to be done by certain federal regulations,” Guerrero said. “We can’t consider race, period.”

The data should be used to evaluate the makeup of students and faculty, not for individual cases, said Christina Espinosa-Pieb, member of the IPBT and vice president of instruction.

“There’s no one singular piece of information that we should all be looking at,” Espinosa-Pieb said. “I would like (the makeup of the department) to reflect our student body, but I want to couple that with what does the student success data look like?”

The Environmental Science, EWRT (English writing), Film/TV Production and Film/TV Animation departments fell further down the list of rankings.

The next IPBT meeting is on June 8.