by John Sailer
Wednesday, 10
August 2022
Campus Wars
11:00

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is tearing academia apart

Ideological litmus tests are becoming the norm in America
by John Sailer
Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Ideological litmus tests are becoming the norm in American academia. Already, many universities require faculty job candidates to submit “diversity statements” — 19% of the faculty job listings in one recent survey. Now, similar requirements increasingly apply to sitting faculty members, as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statements and criteria have become standard components of the promotion and tenure process.

To give one example: last year, the highly-ranked Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine released its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Strategic Action Plan, listing dozens of “tactics” for advancing social justice. Here is an example:

“Include a section in promotion packages where faculty members report on the ways they are contributing to improving DEI, anti-racism and social justice. Reinforce the importance of these efforts by establishing clear consequences and influences on promotion packages.”

The reference to “consequences” reads like a warning to dissenters, especially given that concepts such as “equity”, “anti-racism”, and “social justice” often simply connote adherence to progressive political views. Thanks to the ubiquity of Ibram X. Kendi’s work, many American professionals are primed to point out that anti-racism, far from merely being “not racist”, entails embracing “race conscious” policies, coupled with the belief that any disparity is by definition racism.

With official DEI requirements for promotion and tenure on the rise, Kendian “anti-racism” has come closer to a formal requirement for many in academia. In its 2022 survey of tenure practices, the American Association of University Professors found that 21.5% of the institutions it surveyed had DEI criteria in their tenure standards. For larger institutions, it was 45.6%.As diversity officers increase, so too will their preferred policies.

Unfortunately, the diversity statements can easily stamp out dissenting viewpoints. At UC Berkeley, for example, job candidates will receive a low scores on their diversity statements for “explicitly state[ing] the intention to ignore the varying backgrounds of their students and ‘treat everyone the same’”, and a high score for “Discuss[ing] diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as core values that every faculty member should actively contribute to.” Institutions from Emory University to the Texas Tech University Department of Biological Sciences have adapted the UC rubric, proudly policing the core values of faculty.

DEI requirements for promotion and tenure often come in the form of evaluation criteria, rather than required statements. The California Community Colleges (CCC) system — the largest system of higher education in America, serving almost two million students — recently mandated that all faculty, staff, and administrator evaluations “include DEIA [diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility] competencies and criteria as a minimum standard for evaluating the performance of all employees.”

The resolution mandating these competencies employs unmistakably ideological language. It defines “cultural competency” as “the practice of acquiring and utilizing knowledge of the intersectionality of social identities and the multiple axes of oppression that people from different racial, ethnic, and other minoritized groups face”.

A college that codified these “competencies” would certainly dissuade faculty from expressing many widely-held political opinions — most obviously, opposition to affirmative action. Thus, the policy is likely illegal, running afoul of First Amendment law, which treats academic freedom as sacrosanct. Yet, from Arizona, to Utah, to North Carolina, such policies continue to be adopted and implemented.

Indeed, far from any course correction, all signs suggest that DEI statements are breaking into uncharted territory. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology now requires DEI statements for submissions to its annual convention, asking reviewers to “Evaluate the extent to which the submission advances SPSP’s goal of promoting equity, inclusion and anti-racism”, while some academic journals are trying out diversity statements for paper submission. Soon, it seems, American academics can expect a choice: demonstrate a commitment to the “successor ideology” or start looking for another job.

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Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell
1 month ago

The seeds for the demise of the American University system are sewn. Why does this sound so much like the French Revolution and not the American? Cancellation has taken the place of the Guillotine but one can imagine the electric cars lined up to remove the non-believers from polite society. Any dissent is heresy and can be punished by the Church of the woke.
As with the French Revolution the implosion will eventually come. The progressives will eat their own in the search for perfect adherence to the new religion. It won’t be pretty but a lot of fun.

Selwyn Jones
Selwyn Jones
1 month ago

In many ways, the self-consuming banquet has already started. First on the menu, “liberals” – the soup course, so to speak. They Left has also gobbled up those social democrats foolish enough to let liberals speak and any socialist insufficiently signed up to the replacement of the “working class” by the “rainbow coalition” was no more than a canape. Any Conservatives not actually digested alongside the liberals are first turned out to grass and then consumed as a sort of main course. Then come the purges, the exquisite fear of wondering who stepped out of line or weakened at the wrong moment; the strange blend of survivor’s guilt and secret exaltation that it’s not one’s own turn, not just yet. The hellish delight that, for now, the deadly game goes on. One should never underestimate the boredom of prosperous tranquillity, nor the appeal of primitive conditions of sadism and terror. We are animals, after all, and it the vocation of our lower faculties is to survive against the odds. Which is, perhaps, the deeper reason behind the recrudescence of these cultic movements and the horrific societies they build. It was said that France was bored in 1848; the same is true of the West, today.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
1 month ago
Reply to  Selwyn Jones

Can they define Beauty, Truth, Justice or, for that matter, a woman?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 month ago
Reply to  Selwyn Jones

While I agree with your post, we should avoid using language designed to put opponents of woke idiocy on the defensive.
If woke are liberal then anti woke are illiberal, etc.
Better call them totalitarian left, ignorant bullies, unscientific cultists, etc…

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago

The “eating their own” started some while ago. Suzanne Moore (once of The Guardian, but now purged) was on UnHerd not long ago with an interesting article. I’m equally confident this nonsense will in time burn itself out and normality will resume.
The interesting thing is that freed from ther tribal enclave of The Guardian, Suzanne Moore had some valuable things to say. The tribal groupthink of these universities and media groups is bizarre.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

I am concerned by people hoping that this woke cancer will somehow disappear in due course.
Communism didn’t fail in Soviet Block by itself.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
1 month ago

They always eat their own.

Tim F
Tim F
1 month ago

Surely sown. Bit difficult to get a needle through most seeds.

Harold Hanover
Harold Hanover
1 month ago

as they said in a movie long long ago: Guillotine!!!! Guillotine!!!!!!! all hail the unchurch of woke…………. funny how academia is a belief based system, kinda like church………

Sophy T
Sophy T
1 month ago

‘A group called the Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) has sued Harvard, alleging that the university’s race-conscious admissions policy discriminates against highly qualified Asian American applicants. It does this, they say, by holding these students to a higher standard compared to all other racial groups and rejecting them at a disproportionate rate.’
This case is still pending and should be interesting – though I expect the law courts are too scared of BLM etc to come to any decision which may upset them.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago
Reply to  Sophy T

I don’t think Clarence Thomas will be scared of BLM and he and Samuel Alito are likely to be writing the majority opinions of the US Supreme Court for the time being. The fuss over Roe v Wade’s demise will be nothing compared to the dismantling of affirmative action.

Clarence Thomas has long spoken out against affirmative action which perpetuates 18th century racism through the lens of white liberal guilt. Here’s hoping Clarence Thomas does his worst or best depending on your viewpoint.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeremy Bray
R O'M
R O'M
1 month ago

In the Soviet Union, bibliographies would often have the collected works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin at the very beginning—no matter what the topic under discussion was (and even though it ruined the alphabetic order). Similar dynamic going on I’d say.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 month ago
Reply to  R O'M

Ahh.. Engels… the son of the textile multi millionaire , whose greatest love was Hunting and supping claret in the great houses of The North! Sounds like a top man to me who might just have been extracting the urine?

Tonis Arro
Tonis Arro
1 month ago
Reply to  R O'M

Not only in bibliographies, the citation had to be in first centences of a dissertation, orherwise one has ro forget about the degree.

William Cameron
William Cameron
1 month ago

There is no Diversity in UK universities. Only one line of thought is permitted. Only one political leaning is permitted.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago

Out of all the sectors I’ve worked in, academia has to be most toxic and petty-minded. Children are conditioned to believe they can always get their own way if they appeal to a higher authority and unfortunately most college administrators are more than happy to indulge them.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Officers are nothing more than political commissars. These positions are created to enforce ideological conformity among the professoriate and to root out the more troublesome faculty that dare question the orthodoxy.
If you want to see where this is all headed read this short article by Ibram X. Kendi, a well-established black supremacist:
https://www.politico.com/interactives/2019/how-to-fix-politics-in-america/inequality/pass-an-anti-racist-constitutional-amendment/

Tim F
Tim F
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I always thought equity was a financial concept. Whatever happened to equality?

N Forster
N Forster
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim F

Equality is now considered racist by those who realised it did not hand them the power they craved.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim F

Apparently, equality means equal opportunity, which just isn’t good enough. Equity means equal outcomes.

Emre 0
Emre 0
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Reminds me of that quote from WF Buckley about the first 2000 people from the phone book being a better selection than the faculty of Harvard for governing US.
I’ve come to think that intelligence is a poor tool for making good decisions – but gives great ability to people to express justifications to those decisions they already made.
In this sense, I think universities are full of people with questionable judgement yet who are very good at justifying them.
This did relatively little harm as long as liberalism provided a neutral ground for exchange of ideas and it was all “academic”. Now that the intelligentsia convinced themselves that they hold a higher moral ground than the peasants they despise (like 100 years ago), the pillars of the liberal system are tumbling down.

Last edited 1 month ago by Emre Emre
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

As I mentioned above, an EDI Advisor/’Political Officer’ has also fallen foul of their ideological colleagues for supporting Kathleen Stock. They anonymously report in yesterday’s The Telegraph about the ‘forced’ (since it is mandatory) re education of students and staff at the University of Sheffield.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/13/university-forces-diversity-adviser-supporting-bullied-professor/
I hope it is accessible. The DT is behind a paywall.

Last edited 1 month ago by michael stanwick
Dominic A
Dominic A
1 month ago

As a long-term americanophile Brit, it is with great sadness that I have come to realise the need to quarantine the UK from US culture. Perhaps with the exception of TV & Film. Everything else has rotted.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dominic A
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 month ago
Reply to  Dominic A

TV an film is the vanguard of the American poison, It is their main vehicle for subversion and must be the first thing to go. The question is who controls it and why are they bent on our destruction

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago

In the absence of any singular standout activism, I think it might be a complex mixture of factors with no one single causative agent. There is a lack of data, at least to me, of the motivations of those who are engaged in political-moral activism in UK institutions – College of Policing, the Museum’s Association, HEA Fellowship (IIRC), National Trust, Libraries, Education proper.
My only recourse is to read the pronouncements and reports of the various activisms and their content, so as to understand the ideologies within them and whether there is some commonality(s) they share.
To that end, I have found James Lindsay’s analysis to be the most authoritative. He identifies the common threads of these ideologies as (1) PoMo-neo marxism, applied to (2) various minority identity groups to awaken (inculcate) (3) a cynical grievance/ressentiment frame of reference, centred on their identities. As such, the personal identity is a subjective, frame of reference and activism is the means of forcing equitable outcomes so as to alleviate the emotional anxiety/greivance inculcated by the marxism attached to each identity. Well, that is about as far as I can get at the moment.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
1 month ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Include TV and film. They rotted first.

Vince B
Vince B
1 month ago

I work at the University of California in a major medical academic center. Well prior to the BLM riots, but supercharged since, have been endless programs, celebrations, outreach and so on to non-white, non-straight people. DEI is our religion. Our faculty, the best and the brightest – and most fortunate – human beings on earth, go to “workshops” to “confront” and “grapple with” the racist hellscape called the USA. Excerpt:
1st generation, 30-something year old Asian American doctor making $400K per year: “when I was a kid, other kids would laugh at the noodles my mom packed for lunch.” Everyone then must be downcast and thank him for sharing what must be so painful.
A 1st generation Indian doctor, Ivy League pedigree, complaining about how “racist” it is when white patients can’t fully pronounce his multi-syllabic name. (Apparently non-whites get a pass.)
A doctor talking about her “LatinX” patients with the kind of joy in her eye of a kid using a big new word she just learned.
It’s absolutely nauseating.
In our campus alone we must spend $12 million per year on this nonsense, all bemoaning that there aren’t “enough” black or brown doctors. Hey, here’s an idea: how about we spend all that money finding poor black and brown kids and tutoring them so they are able to get into and thrive in medical school!

Margaret TC
Margaret TC
1 month ago

Such is the pressure to DIE — as I like to turn the holy trinity of diversity inclusion and equality — that academics are simply rolling over either too afraid or too intellectually lazy to fight back. Indeed, it sounds the death knell of actual critical engagement — whether with the material world or with texts — which has been the purpose of university education. The world and its texts are now simply to be viewed through one set of lens.

Andrew Symes
Andrew Symes
1 month ago

“…quarantine the UK from US culture” – too late! Sadly this is a bit like banning flights from China when hospitals here were already filling up with people with Covid. Similarly a few years ago people were arguing that Brexit would protect sovereign Britannia from the European woke – when the ideas had long ago taken root here. Not sure quarantine will work against this virus, nor will denial or lockdowns – vaccination might be the only way. ie in the family, church, community group, explain what the bad ideology is, critique it, and inculcate a more wholesome one.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 month ago

My only even vaguely funny memory of Kings College London was turning up at the Faculty of Laws on the Monday of a national rail strike, in the back of a chauffeur driven Bentley, with a lovely ex WW2 soldier at the wheel, via a cadged lift from home from a local chairman of a certain large industrial group. Having dropped said Chairman off at the then Leyland in Marylebone road, off we went towards the Aldwych….. I was somewhat disconcerted to see clouds of my… errr ” Fellow students out ” picketing in sympathy” with the rail workers, faces of horror, rage and sheer disbelief , were to me a picture of joy and entertainment the likes of which I have rarely ever seen, nor enjoyed so much since! They gathered round the car, and ‘my’ driver said “Don’t worry sir, I deal with these sort of commies every day at the….. works.

He stepped out, opened the boot, handed me my bag, and saluted me with a ” Have a good day, Sir”, then turned round to the assembled crown and said
“Out of the way, Idle scum.. Mr S-T is going to work”!!!!.

The one and only funny incident was a brother Army SSLC student going down to the students cafeteria for the first ( and last) time to meet a girl student whom he liked: The languid Royal Hussar was met at the cafeteria door by a picketing student who who said the prices were too high, to which our cavalry officer said.. “In the club in which I habitually lunch, one could not obtain so much as a bread roll for the price of what you refer to as dinner, but is in fact lunch”…

William Cameron
William Cameron
1 month ago

UK universities are the least diverse places in the country. Only one thought allowed . Woke and left and all white folk are bad.

Tim F
Tim F
1 month ago

Madness. We will just lose or overlook many, many good people.

Johnathan Galt
Johnathan Galt
1 month ago

Unfortunately, the diversity statements can easily stamp out dissenting viewpoints.”

In theory this is accurate. In practice, it is used as cover to eradicate FACTUAL viewpoints and replace them with propaganda drivel.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Johnathan Galt

Check this out. From an actual real-time DIE horse’s mouth. These excerpts were taken from The Telegraph (behind a paywall but quoted here fro reference).
The equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) adviser at the University of Sheffield had been employed for more than two years working on LGBT+ inclusion and a race equality action plan.
But in October last year, his colleagues from a trade union complained to managers about him signing a “statement of solidarity” with Prof Kathleen Stock,…
In a letter, staff also protested that his Twitter account had questioned why Girlguiding was allowing trans girls as members and objected to him inviting the Equiano Project, a free-speech forum founded by a black woman, to campus.
The letter, seen by The Telegraph, was sent to Prof Gill Valentine, the university’s deputy vice-chancellor, and Ian Wright, the director of human resources. It also praised “significant pushback” from staff to proposals to cut ties with Stonewall.
Within a month, the adviser, who asked The Telegraph to protect his identity for fear of reprisal, was told he could no longer work in LGBT+ and race equality at the university as his views “created friction with key stakeholders”.  
He was swiftly moved to different work in the human resources team, without any formal investigation, and his appeal and request for an apology through whistleblowing procedures were rejected, documents show. 
He felt he had no choice but to quit the university in July and has now gone public to warn of an “ideological bubble” of senior leaders “crumbling” to “dictatorial” trade union activists.
He told The Telegraph: “The far Left have hijacked important issues and senior leaders in universities have folded under that pressure and are actively removing anyone who dares to make their legal views known.”
The university told him in letters that his treatment was “appropriate in the circumstances” as “a formal process would not have been a supportive one for you”, and it said it had not discriminated against his beliefs.
The adviser said he noticed a “woke-Left bias” in much of the University of Sheffield’s equality work, including references to “white privilege” in mandatory anti-racism training for first-year undergraduates. 
The university’s mandatory EDI training has been completed by 7,000 members of staff and at least 930 members of staff have completed implicit bias training courses. 

Last edited 1 month ago by michael stanwick
Veronica Lowe
Veronica Lowe
1 month ago

Meanwhile in our local Catholic church, at this mornning’s Mass we had the usual mix: Ghanaian, Mexican, Nigerian, Indian and French families. It seems the Portuguese, Polish, Filipino and Kenyans are on holiday. Kofi from Ghana was on coffee duty. I am working on what liturgical music we have in common. This is in Gloucestershire. That’s inclusion.

Last edited 1 month ago by Veronica Lowe
Keith Sutherland
Keith Sutherland
1 month ago

The forthcoming book from SOCIETAS on this topic deliberately altered the acronym to DIE http://books.imprint.co.uk/book/?gcoi=71157100101820

Margaret TC
Margaret TC
1 month ago

Thanks for this reference!

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago

So Peterson, Krauss and MacDonald are some of the contributors. Looks interesting.
But noticeable by his absence is James Lindsay. IMO that is an error. Lindsay, as well as Peterson, was one of the 1st, front and foremost in the pushback against this marxist insurgency, and his depth of knowledge and reading of primary sources second to none.
Lindsay has done an excellent breakdown of DIE, available on his YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKLuhY2Q7Rw

Benjamin Holm
Benjamin Holm
1 month ago

Seems like almost everyone but the zealots and left wing partisans realizes there is a major problem. The big question is what to do about it. It seems to me that the only way it will be addressed is if the polity treats these people as politically toxic, and that anyone seen to be on their side or making excuses for them does not receive votes or is defeated in a landslide. The likelihood for that does not seem great, but we’ll see.

Martha Dogood
Martha Dogood
1 month ago

Someone here asked “Who controls American media and Hollywood?” Follow the money. There is a minuscule % of our population controlling the vast MSM and Hollywood complex. They also forged a tight alliance with Chinese CCP money and access long ago. They are together committed to the globalist world view (start hearing Lennon’s “Imagine there’s no countries…” ballad). The left globalist complex is committed to destruction of USA as our country is the last hurdle in their way of a globalist system. First they must destroy the soul of America and bring it to heel. This leftist globalist elite now fully control mass media and academia. We here are the opposition, it remains to be seen what our fate will be.
The actual leader of the future globalist government is China of course, and all that means. The IRS armed stasi now forming by Biden regime (run by Obama/Rice/Brennan the communist) is preparing for massive wealth redistribution. We, the educated American middle and upper middle class, are all that stands between them and total victory. The only chance we have, and there is a small window of opportunity, is a reformation of the free country alliance of Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and others, to reform a renewed hybrid Western/Eastern free world civilization based on localized nation states, not a globalist monolith run by CCP.

Last edited 1 month ago by Martha Dogood
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Martha Dogood

But can you name names and their connection to what is going on?

Kirsten Walstedt
Kirsten Walstedt
1 month ago

Where’s the first lawsuit going to come from?

Erik Hildinger
Erik Hildinger
1 month ago

The University of Michigan is fully on board. Apparently one can even earn a certificate in DEI.
https://diversity.umich.edu

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago

Never mind the US. Re education occurs here in the UK in, for example, universities. Employees who, bound by the responsibility for earning money in order to support a family, mortgage, themselves etc, are mandated to attend re education.
As an example, an anonymous EDI Advisor (or ‘Political Officer’ in my terms), described in The Telegraph yesterday the re education content and method of delivery;
The adviser said he noticed a “woke-Left bias” in much of the University of Sheffield’s equality work, including references to “white privilege” in mandatory anti-racism training for first-year undergraduates. 
The university’s mandatory EDI training has been completed by 7,000 members of staff and at least 930 members of staff have completed implicit bias training courses. 

William MacAdams
William MacAdams
1 month ago

Excellent article—but it is disconcerting to see the illiterate title: “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is tearing academia apart.”

Brian Kullman
Brian Kullman
1 month ago

DEI has become the Trinity of the Woke, and considered one and inseparable. So it takes a singular verb.

Michael McGowan
Michael McGowan
1 month ago

Maybe feminism lost its way and became DEI.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 month ago

I think some ideological factions within feminism morphed into gender theory and then from there into qu–r theory.
See Cynical Theories by Pluckrose and Lindsay.

B Davis
B Davis
1 month ago

Ideological goose-step: embedded Commissars; this the New Stasi. Student informing on teacher informing on Chair hoping themselves to dodge the inevitable purge of those deemed ‘resistant’ to Progress and its Pronouns.
“No one believes more firmly than our Diversity Vice Chancellor that all faculty are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”
When there is right thought and wrong thought…when we ourselves stand so surely upon the Right Side of History and see what happens on the Deplorably Wrong…how can that Wrong be tolerated? How can it be accepted or allowed?
There is Truth (as processed and parsed by our Ministry) and there is Misinformation & Disinformation & Malinformation. How, possibly, can we let such poison pool and seep and corrupt all those fragile, eggshell minds for which WE are responsible.
There is nothing wrong with your media. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal, and the vertical. We can deluge you with a thousand channels, or expand one single image to crystal clarity… and beyond. We can shape your vision to anything our imagination can conceive. We will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the deepest inner mind to… the ultimate in Diversity, Inclusivity, Equity, and Gender Fluid Social Justice.”
I don’t know what you mean by ‘Social Justice,’ ” Alice said.
Dean Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
“But ‘Social Justice’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Dean Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
The answer is quite terribly obvious.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 month ago

Nothing surprising here.
Most of the woke “justice warriors” are nothing more than neoMarxists, hiding behind other labels.
Policies described in the article are getting closer and closer to situation in Soviet Block universities, where being a member of communist party was the main requirement for career advancement.