Phi Beta Cons

Diversity Trumps Freedom on Academic Websites

The National Association of Scholars has just released a study that takes a rather novel approach to measuring the yawning ideological gap that has opened between American higher education and the nation at large. Simply stated, we googled the number of references on university websites to the postmodern code word  “diversity” on the one hand, and to terms like “freedom”, bespeaking more traditional American ideals on the other. We then compared the number of these references with similar figures compiled through google searches of media, political party, church, and labor union websites. We find that while on nonacademic websites “freedom” is the most numerous term–usually by far–on university websites “freedom” is uniquely left in the dust by “diversity.” Words like “liberty,” “democracy,” and “equality” were also googled with more or less the same result. If there is a way of  actually quantifying the degree to which our universities are striving to submerge the classic principles of liberalism embraced by the rest of America, we may have found it.

Stephen H. Balch was the founding president of the National Association of Scholars. In 2007 he received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush.

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