American Economic Association vs. Affirmative Action
A century ago, the American Economics Association began as a dissident group opposed to the narrow ideological perspective of conventional economists. In its annual meetings, it is going to great lengths to squeeze out participation by contemporary dissidents. Here is another example of the ultraconservative behavior of the organization:
The Economics Department at the University of Vermont placed an ad for a tenure track faculty in JOE at the end of September. JOE edited this ad (without any notice), deleting the latter half of the last sentence, in particular the phrase that the Department “welcomes applications from women and underrepresented ethnic, racial and cultural groups and from people with disabilities.” (To see ad, http://www.aeaweb.org/joe/0610d/html/joe193.html).
When we queried AEA on this, John Siegfried, Director of JOE, responded that that phrase was edited out because it is discriminatory, and indicated that AEA has a policy to not publish advertising that discriminates on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, and sexual preference. He has therefore at this time refuses to reinstate the entire ad. Our lawyer has reviewed this ad and indicates that this ad is in no way discriminatory. We are now considering our response.
I am therefore writing to the URPE listserve to inquire as to how URPE or academic institutions may have or are responding to this position of the AEA. Please contact me directly with your comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks very much.
Best, Stephanie Seguino
Associate Professor, Department of Economics
Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
438 College St.
Burlington, VT 05405-4160