The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Diversity Mania Forges Ahead

(Mike Segar/Reuters)

In today’s Martin Center article, John Rosenberg looks at the latest advances of the seemingly unstoppable diversity juggernaut. The silly idea that some people are more valuable to a university than others simply because of their ancestry has spread to hiring faculty who supposedly “improve” diversity without even being attached to any academic discipline. Some schools are even demanding that candidates for faculty positions or promotions must submit “diversity statements,” which compel everyone to genuflect to the diversity gods if they want a chance at landing a job or improving their rank.

Not surprisingly, California is leading the way here.

Rosenberg writes, “In other words, the candidates UC-Davis seeks should not only be of a desired color, but also of the right religion, i.e., proven acolytes of the Diversity Creed. ‘We want people who are committed to advancing diversity,’ said Phil Kass, vice provost for academic affairs. ‘This elevates the importance of diversity as a singular qualification in these searches. They have to have that.’”

Will these fervent believers in the Diversity Creed do anything to improve learning among the students? Apparently that hardly matters. Academic expertise is not top priority at Davis, it seems.

As for the required “diversity statements,” Rosenberg says they are “rapidly becoming a new kind of religious creed for faculty.” Just as believing in the wrong religion used to sink your chances at many schools, now failure to believe in the tenets of diversity will sink them. That is sure to keep professors and would-be professors from saying or doing anything that might cause those in charge of hiring from suspecting that they aren’t sufficiently zealous in their diversity beliefs.

I like Rosenberg’s conclusion: “A good measure of how far we’ve come is that our new loyalty oaths, i.e., diversity statements, are regarded as not only acceptable but required by those who would react in horror at similar efforts to promote, say, patriotism or capitalism. Orthodoxy never seems orthodox to those intent on imposing it.”

George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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