The University of Utah School of Medicine was pressured into implementing additional diversity, equity, and inclusion programs after its accrediting organization found the school's diversity efforts to be "unsatisfactory," according to a 2021 report obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Medical watchdog organization Do No Harm acquired emails between UUSOM and its accreditor, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which declared that the university's "diversity/pipeline programs and partnerships" were "unsatisfactory" because it failed to employ and enroll enough women.
The report noted that UUSOM had seen "improvement for the 2020 entering class," but not enough. As a result, the accreditor requested that UUSOM provide a report detailing how it planned to improve its recruitment of students and faculty from underrepresented groups.
"DCI data show that 38.5% of full-time faculty and 22.2% of senior administrative staff are women," the report stated. "No offers for faculty and senior administrative staff positions were made in several of the school's diversity categories (American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander) for the 2018-29 academic year."
To acquire the LCME's approval, the medical school adopted several DEI initiatives and provided status updates regarding the success of the programs.
UUSOM attempted to comply with the accreditor's demands by implementing an "Indigenous STEM Youth Outreach Program," hosting a "Day of the Dead Premedical Conference," and providing workshops to students from "underrepresented" groups.
The medical school also hosted "diversity recruitment days" and provided near full-ride scholarships to students from "underrepresented populations."
All UUSOM admissions staff and faculty search committees were required to participate in "Anti-Bias Training." For the 2021-2022 school year, admissions employees were instructed to compose a cultural awareness essay to encourage them to take a "holistic" approach to the college admissions process. Staff from most UUSOM departments were mandated to complete a diversity statement.
UUSOM reported its updated initiatives to the LCME, stating, "Two significant areas for improvement are related to student and faculty diversity. SOM Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OHEDI) recognizes recruitment is important with compositional diversity and the need for intentional retention efforts for the success of all."
"SOM OHEDI and health science center University of Utah Health, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (HSC UHEDI) are continuously working to identify needs for action to achieve desired results in terms of recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, students, and staff," the school added.
In June 2022, in response to the changes, the LCME acknowledged that the school had made improvements but marked its progress as "satisfactory with a need for mentoring." The accreditor requested an additional status report update by August 2023.
Laura Morgan, Do No Harm's program manager, told the DCNF, "The LCME and AAMC hold the power over medical schools regarding their accreditation, and the University of Utah School of Medicine's responses to the LCME's findings reflect the desire to live up to those organizations' woke agendas."
"This further promotes ideology ahead of quality medical education and race/ethnicity or sex over hiring the most qualified faculty and staff," Morgan stated. "Medical education must not be undermined in favor of medical wokeness, and Utah taxpayers need to ask why this is being done at UUSOM.
Neither the University of Utah School of Medicine nor the LCME responded to a request for comment, the DCNF reported.
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