Phi Beta Cons

Accreditation Also Pushes the Diversity Agenda

For several years, Dr. George Avery has been among the contributors to this blog, adding well informed comments from time to time. Today, he has contributed to the Pope Center with an article on the way that accrediting bodies, particularly those that oversee programs in professional fields, push the diversity agenda.

“Although diversity sounds benign,” Avery writes, “these programs are a silent dagger thrust at intellectual pluralism. They use the market signal of legitimacy conferred by accreditation to reinforce an intellectual monoculture.”

That’s the case, for example, in his own field of public health, where the accrediting organization insists that all public health programs have a “commitment to diversity.” And that isn’t just boilerplate — programs must also “document” their commitment.

Another field where diversity dominates is social work. Not only must social work programs show their fealty to diversity, but the National Association of Social Workers demands that programs adhere to its leftist notions about social justice. They don’t want any social workers who might disagree with the idea that the poor are always victims and the only way to help them is through government.

The American Bar Association is another accrediting body that pushes the diversity agenda. Law schools are expected to show their commitment to diversity, even though it’s clear that admitting students just to have proper quotas often mismatches them.

Avery concludes, “Diversity standards can — and are — used to impose a diversity ideology on schools, even when it is incompatible with the mission of the institution. They also get in the way of something every educational institution should care about, which is to hire the most qualified individuals.”

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

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