Phi Beta Cons

More about UCLA’s diversity mandate

Many universities across the nation require students take some sort of “diversity” class as a graduation requirement. Those requirements are often based on “studies” which purport to show such courses help foster tolerance. But it turns out, those “studies” are often based on bad science, and the demand for diversity classes based in part on emotion and rhetoric.

That is certainly the case at UCLA.

An analysis of the studies used to push a new diversity mandate through the academic senate shows the studies are highly questionable, weak, and inherently subjective, explains Josh Hedtke, a UCLA student and reporter for The College FixHedtke picked apart three studies cited in the diversity mandate proposal to illustrate how each one lacked scientific rigor. 

He also interviewed one of the requirement’s most vocal proponents, who didn’t ”feel comfortable” answering tough questions about it, and refused to say if UCLA should also mandate a U.S. history course (currently it does not).

Hedtke notes

Ultimately, the diversity proponents have to rely on emotion because their intellectual and moral cases for a diversity requirement are severely lacking. The proposal is so muddled and full of assertions and evidence that are not rigorous that it is impossible to take seriously.

But we have to take seriously the intentions of the diversity proponents, because there is no telling how far they will take their diversity fetish if they are allowed to proceed unabated.

The UCLA diversity proposal cited a study by Scott Page, who the proposal says “has made a compellingcase [sic] for the power of diversity to spur innovation; in some respects, even outweighing the contribution of ‘ability’ in problem solving.”

If the drafters of the diversity requirement are willing to include this idea as evidence in their proposal, that means that, at minimum, they don’t think it is a completely ludicrous idea. What a scary world it would it be if such an idea became commonplace.

 

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