Dozens of Cornell University faculty, staff, students, and alumni signed onto a letter attacking "colorblind" practices, insisting that the university institute racial quotas and recruit "clusters" of non-White individuals.
The letter, published Monday, launches into a long list of immediate and long-term demands after accusing the Ivy League university of "symbolic" efforts in response to racism.
"As an institution Cornell aspires to the highest principles of civic duty," the letter reads. "Yet every 'colorblind' event, mechanism, and process at the university — from new faculty orientations to selection of endowed positions — perpetuates racial disparities and reinforces an unjust status quo."
To remedy that, the letter proposes setting benchmarks for the proportion of trustees and faculty of color.
"Increase representation of Black faculty to 7 percent in 2025 and to 10 percent in 2030," the demand reads.
"Increase representation of other faculty of color to 20 percent in 2025 and 25 percent in 2030, in line with the percentage of new PhDs conferred in the US. Create benchmarks for increasing BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Color] faculty in those departments and disciplines with the most severe underrepresentation."
In the short-term, that entails recruiting "clusters" of faculty and students who are Black, indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
The demands explicitly call for an end to "colorblind recruitment polices and practices in partner/spousal hiring," as well as "partner/spousal hires to all BIPOC faculty, including assistant professors."
Tao Leigh Goffe, an assistant professor at Cornell and the letter's first signatory, tweeted about the demands.
At the undergraduate level, the signatories want the university to stop considering SAT/ACT scores "and acknowledge the role of standardized testing in exacerbating race/class disparities, especially given the racialized history of intelligence testing.
The Ithaca, N.Y.-based university did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment. As the letter notes, University President Martha Pollack recently announced plans for the creation of a center focused on researching issues related to systemic racism.
Cornell's curriculum must also undergo "systematic changes," the letter argues. It's unclear what exactly "anti-racist pedagogies" would involve, but the term "anti-racist" appeared to surface more frequently in the wake of protests surrounding the May 25 death of George Floyd.
Dr. Ibram Kendi, who leads Boston University's Center for Antiracist Research, wrote a book that has been recommended by Amazon and others as the nation confronts racial unrest. In "How to Be an Anti-Racist," Kendi writes that "there is no such thing as a nonracist or race-neutral policy. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups." He then touts discrimination as a tool for creating racial equality.
"The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity," he writes. "If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist. ... The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination."
Monday's letter came as the Trump administration denounced "critical race theory" as "anti-American propaganda." The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memo Friday banning trainings that involved, for example, White employees acknowledging they benefited from racism.
"The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government," OMB Director Russ Vought argued.