NC State reverses course on DEI application question
North Carolina State University will no longer require applicants to answer an essay question affirming the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda, according to the school’s media relations department.
N.C. State has come under fire for the question, which tells students the university “is committed to building a just and inclusive community” and rejects “unjust or inhumane treatment” and will denounce it “clearly and loudly.” The university then prompts students to write a maximum 250-word essay describing “what those words mean to you and how you will contribute to a more diverse and inclusive environment.”
In a statement emailed to Carolina Journal, NC State media relations head Mick Kulikowski said the essay question was made mandatory beginning with the 2021 admissions cycle, saying, “Students were not able to submit their applications without answering the question.”
But moving forward, “the question will no longer be required,” Kulikowski said.
Asked which criteria are used to evaluate answers to the DEI essay question, Kulikowski said, “NC State reviews applications holistically taking into account the student’s academic achievement, involvement outside of the classroom, interest in academic major, and the applicant’s story.”
The UNC System Boards of Governors is meeting this week to consider passing a policy banning the type of statement included on the NC State application.
The wording of that resolution states: “The University shall neither solicit nor require an employee or applicant for academic admission or employment to affirmatively ascribe to or opine about beliefs, affiliations, ideals, or principles regarding matters of contemporary political debate or social action as a condition to admission, employment, or professional advancement.”
The university’s application question came to light after Carolina Partnership for Reform raised concerns that it signaled that the school discourages dissent or would force self-censorship among students.