Phi Beta Cons

What They Mean When They Say “Diversity”

The potentates at Virginia Tech felt it was necessary to say this:

We, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, use the term ‘diversity’ to mean the desirability and value of many kinds of individual differences while at the same time acknowledging and respecting that socially constructed differences based on such characteristics as gender, race, ethnicity, class, ability, health status, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, and geographical and cultural background exist within systems of power that create and sustain inequality, hierarchy, and privilege. The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences is determined to eliminate these forms of inequality, hierarchy, and privilege in our programs and practices. In this sense, diversity is to be actively advanced because it fosters excellence in learning, discovery, and engagement.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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