The Corner

Education

The ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ Mantra Doesn’t Mean Conservatives

Classroom on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C., September 20, 2018. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

We constantly hear from our colleges and universities that they are dedicated to “diversity and inclusion” so that everyone will feel welcome. Do they really mean it?

In today’s Martin Center article, Chris West, who has worked at the Center, relates his experiences as a low-level administrator at University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. His supervisor let him know that he, as a conservative, was not welcome.

West writes:

When I accepted an administrative position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, friends warned me that I would not fit in as a conservative. I dismissed their concerns as hyperbole, an instance of believing universities are more politicized than they actually are. After eight long months, however, I had to admit that they were right. The political atmosphere in the college bureaucracy does not tolerate political disagreement and is overwhelmingly left-leaning.

West might have fit in if he had hidden the facts that he’s religious and supports our constitutional concept of limited government. And he might have cheered at the news that David Koch had died and talked up Bernie Sanders. But he didn’t, and his supervisor let him know that he was on thin ice.

West continues:

She refused to cite any specific issues with my job performance, even after three meetings between herself and my program director. Additionally, she reprimanded me for attending a meal with a visiting lecturer—which the department offers as a benefit to faculty and staff—and warned me that I needed to “learn my place.”

Of greater concern, she took issue with me talking to students about my religious and political views and threatened to have me removed from my job if she got another complaint that I shared my views.

West found out that he was not alone in being treated as a pariah for dissenting from the university’s leftist orthodoxy. Other conservatives got the same.

After eight months, West decided he couldn’t take the hostile atmosphere and quit.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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