The Corner


Duke Divinity School Goes All-In for Diversity

While Duke historian Nancy MacLean has gotten most of the attention this year for her hatchet-job book on James Buchanan and those who believe in limited government, there have been some deplorable events at the Divinity School. In today’s Martin Center article, Professor John Staddon describes that school’s descent into the sheer madness of obsession with diversity.

Staddon begins with the furor last year when one senior faculty member dared voice his opinion that a “diversity training” seminar that had been planned would be a waste of time. Ah, but you just can’t say anything like that on a P.C. campus! That professor was hounded into retirement after being brought up on harassment charges.

That whetted the appetite of the social-justice-warrior types who have been drawn to Duke Divinity. They have put out a list of demands, about which Staddon writes:

The list of “demands” is both revealing and embarrassing. One demand asks for a non-discrimination policy “to be signed by all incoming students, faculty, and staff.” But other demands are in fact discriminatory: “To appoint a black trans woman or gender non-conforming theologian” as well as “a tenure-track trans woman theologian” and “tenure-track queer theologian of color, preferably a black or indigenous person.” And “At least 10 academic and 15 summer placements designated for trans and queer students at sites that are overtly affirming of LGBTQIA+ peoples (1/3 of these placements must be made up of predominantly people of color).”

No, this is not The Onion poking fun at today’s university. This is how “progressives” think — that righteousness depends on having quotas for groups.

And there are more demands, including a Queer Theology course and gender-neutral bathrooms, which must be “clearly marked.”

Of course, the Divinity School’s dean took all of this seriously, announcing the formation of an “Academic Affairs Task Force on Gender and Student Sexuality Concerns.”

Staddon thinks that the Duke Divinity School is in a “race to the bottom” and it’s impossible to disagree with his assessment. He suggests some educational correctives, but its diversity dementia has no doubt progressed too far.

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

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