NAS, The “Insidious” Organization?

Case updates, cheeky responses, and more

Kali Jerrard

CounterCurrent: Week of 06/10/2024

Exciting stories all around in higher education over the past week. 

National Association of Scholars (NAS) President Peter Wood received a visit from a New York City sheriff in connection with the Scott Gerber case. Wood has written several letters on behalf of Professor Gerber after Ohio Northern University (ONU) forcibly removed Gerber from his class and took him to the ONU dean’s office under armed escort last year. The dean then demanded Gerber resign without explanation. The plot thickened when it was revealed that Dr. Melissa J. Baumann, president of ONU, supported the dean’s actions. Gerber then wrote a Wall Street Journal article chronicling his ordeal and the believed reason for his unjust defenestration—he criticized the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies at the university. 

Gerber, for his part, is seeking restitution and resolution. His case is currently before a local Ohio court. In the meantime, ONU has been busy doling out subpoenas to those who criticize their actions. Wood responded after learning of his own, “ONU is making itself nationally known as a college that responds to both faculty dissent and external criticism with pettiness and attempts to intimidate. Some might call that a loser’s mentality.” Hopefully Gerber prevails in his case against the university. 

NAS has been on a roll with attracting attention from left-wing press and its allied organizations. All press is good press, right?

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) just published a report written by Isaac Kamola, the AAUP director of the Center for the Defense of Academic Freedom. In it, NAS received a passing mention—only one page—containing some small errors of fact. Why does this matter? Well, the report’s title, Manufacturing Backlash: Right-Wing Think Tanks and Legislative Attacks on Higher Education, 2021–2023, gives it away. The AAUP seems to believe that conservative organizations are targeting the Ivory Tower—i.e., they mean organizations pointing out that bloated bureaucracies, wasteful spending, and corruption are bad. 

Firstly this is ironic because NAS is not a “conservative” or “right wing” organization—at least we don’t think so—we have been branded as such by left-wing press and organizations and the parrots over at Wikipedia. Secondly, the report fails to recognize that NAS, though we keep a low profile, is a “far more insidious” presence to the left’s occupation of higher education. In a tongue-and-cheek response to the AAUP mention, Peter Wood explains,

We are the folks who invented Proposition 209 in California, the ballot referendum that took down racial preferences in the Golden State in 1996. We have been a significant player in every important effort to rid the law of Justice Powell’s 1978 diversity decision. We are the folks who blew the whistle on the Chinese Communist Party’s Confucius Institutes and other efforts to insinuate itself in American universities. We played a quiet but considerable role in laying out the case against Claudine Gay. We have undermined the leftist status quo in higher education for decades with the persistence of Morlocks. 

Wood continues in his response that the AAUP’s report is good news. Their attention on NAS and other organizations who call out the left-wing corruption in higher education means the powers that be are sufficiently concerned about losing their hold on academia. It might not be a win yet, but rattling an adversary can’t do too much harm. 

Another university continues to embrace the DEI doctrine and fall further from its founding ideals.

Louis Galarowicz, our newest research associate at NAS, has written an article for City Journal exposing the University of Oregon. “According to a trove of documents obtained by the National Association of Scholars, Oregon staff are integrating DEI criteria into their hiring protocols and seeking to ‘indoctrinate’ new hires in diversity ideology,” Galarowicz discloses. 

The university requires all applicants to submit DEI statements to be considered for a position. The statements are then assessed using the UC Berkeley rubric or by department specific rubrics. All applicants are penalized if they fail to show interest in diversity initiatives, plan to “treat everyone the same,” or lack past involvement in outreach toward under-represented groups. This is not an exhaustive list of the rubric requirements, but the point remains that the hiring process is inherently biased. The University of Oregon has fallen far from its founding ideals by replacing them with DEI, and will continue to fall unless school leadership charts a new course, concludes Galarowicz.   

As always, we will continue to keep a weather eye on higher education. 

Until next week.

CounterCurrent is the National Association of Scholars’ weekly newsletter, written by the NAS Staff. To subscribe, update your email preferences here.

Photo by Microgen on Adobe Stock

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