A new report from the Oregon Association of Scholars indicates that more and more colleges are relying on "diversity statements" for their professors and staff members to sign as, effectively, a partisan litmus test. In fact, more than twenty colleges require that their faculty demonstrate a commitment to various liberal ideals, though the real number is likely much higher if you look at what is required to get into PhD programs. The College Fix reports:
These statements have strong ties to liberal ideology, such as the assumption of group victimization and claims for group-based entitlements, effectively making them “partisan litmus tests” to “weed out non-left wing scholars,” the association states in its report.
The association notes that many schools now link to articles explaining how to craft a diversity statement, which include affirmations that a professor will “keep the white students from dominating all classroom discussions,” or “reflect a commitment to queer visibility,” or teach students “not to thoughtlessly reproduce the standard white and Western model of legitimate knowledge.”
Also, the statements focus on combating “racial oppression, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and other commonly recognized forms of oppression.” Here are some examples from the Oregon Association of Scholars’ report, according to The Fix:
The University of Oregon: teaching must “reflect the diversity of the field, including the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of its scholars and practitioners.” Plus, they must incorporate “issues of equity, implicit bias, and cultural understanding in new faculty searches.”
University of California system: "mandatory diversity statement for all new hires, and the specific criteria used to evaluate a candidate’s commitment to diversity includes whether a scholar’s research addresses 'race, gender, economic justice or inequality'
Portland State University: hands out a "list of 44 questions for measuring 'cultural competencies' during the interview process.
Carnegie Mellon University: candidates "can pass litmus tests like these if they are 'a member of a historically underrepresented group in their field.'"
Oregon Health & Science University actually tracks how frequently faculty go to diversity events.
“Today the mandatory ‘diversity statement’ threatens to become a ‘fifth document’ in faculty hiring and promotion at many universities (in addition to cover letter, curriculum vitae, research statement, and teaching statement),” states the Oregon Association of Scholars. This will obviously have a chilling effect on academic freedom and free speech, if faculty members are actually being evaluated and judged on their commitment to left wing causes. The Oregon Association of Scholars says that teachers will invariably, “spend more time signaling their zealous support and making sure not to challenge students in ways that might be construed as a threat to this ideology."
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