Higher Ed Leadership Takes on Racism

National Association of Scholars

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, and the subsequent rash of protests sweeping the nation, many college and university leaders began the now familiar process of appeasement. College presidents, deans, boards of trustees members, and other administrators came out in droves to denounce "systemic racism."

However, this flood of denunciations took on a new form. College presidents began to declare an additional "commitment to anti-racism," which was anything but. At the same time, many began to openly admit their complicity in "perpetuating systemic racism" or "systems of oppression."

These empty platitudes were meant to assuage the irate constituencies on campus, but they may have put colleges and universities in hot water.

That's why the National Association of Scholars is publishing statements we've garnered from over 300 colleges, universities, and educational institutions across the nation that illustrate the lengths to which higher ed leaders have gone to elevate and institutionalize racial conflict.

As part of this work, NAS wrote to every leader, asking them to elaborate on their statements and explain how exactly their institutions are perpetuating racism. We received responses from 45 university leaders, 44 of which are included in the downloads on this page. These responses from university leaders have been redacted to protect the identity of the correspondent and the university or college which they represent. One respondent requested that their letter not be made public in any way, and so we have not published that letter. Should any institution see material on here that should be redacted or removed, please contact the NAS.

We left out a number of college and university statements marked as copyrighted material, and have endeavored to remove any materials marked as such.

At this point, higher ed leadership is well-versed in the rules of the social justice game. When students, faculty, or administrators demand "action," presidents and deans happily respond in due time with melodramatic, self-flagellating statements declaring their commitment to bring about "lasting change." Never mind how much money these far-fetched plans will cost, how effective they will be, or, in most cases, the threat to academic freedom they will inevitably necessitate. What's important is that those in our colleges and universities will be able to proudly say, "My school is anti-racist!" 

But the NAS sees through the façade, and we will hold college and university presidents accountable for their careless "virtue" signalling.

Click the buttons below to access our curated collection of statements, as well as the responses we have received:

Download a Word document of the statements

Download a PDF of the statements

Download an Excel chart of the responses


Image: Clay Banks, Public Domain

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