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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Profs swear diversity oaths

The “loyalty oaths” of the ’50s have returned to academia, writes George Leef. Now professors and would-be professors must pledge “adherence to the ‘diversity’ agenda” to get a job or have a shot at tenure.

The University of California’s anti-communist loyalty oath for professors was struck down by the California Supreme Court in 1952.

University of Oregon, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon State University, and Portland State University are requiring diversity statements for hiring or promotion, reports the Oregon Association of Scholars.

For example, an anthropology professor’s statement said that she “focuses ‘on how not to thoughtlessly reproduce the standard white and Western model of legitimate knowledge’,” according to the report.

These statements are now required at more than 20 major universities including the University of California, Carnegie-Mellon University, and Virginia Tech.

Faculty members must demonstrate their allegiance to “diversity,” “inclusion” and “equity,” writes Leef.

At the Oregon Health and Science University, faculty and prospective members are evaluated on their “cultural competency.” That is measured by the individual’s “professed and demonstrated participation in ‘diversity and inclusion’ activities, rather than by evidence of effectiveness in pluralistic settings.” And the school’s Diversity Action Plan calls upon administrators to track and report on “participation in diversity events” by members of their departments.

Doesn’t this sound just a tad Orwellian? (And a waste of time.)

To write The Effective Diversity Statement, stick to the biggies — “racial oppression, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism,” etc.  — advises Tanya Golash-Boza, a University of California sociology professor, in Inside Higher Ed.

“T Paine” responds in a comment:

I would like to read personal statements from candidates that affirm an intent to treat all students equally, judging them on merit, effort, competence, ignoring race, gender, mental and/or physical disability, sexual orientation or lack of it, including favorite position, bathroom preference, or religion.

No university requires professors to pledge their loyalty to ideological or intellectual diversity.

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