The home of “things said” by the National Association of Scholars.

The End of Meritocracy


In an excerpt from The Diversity Delusion, Heather Mac Donald describes the "diversity mania" taking over the academy.

College Summer Reading: A Mandated Dive Into ‘Oppressed Minorities’

Rachelle Peterson

NAS Policy Director Rachelle Peterson evaluates the current state of common reading programs, beginning with a bizarre choice by Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Intellectual Merit Under Attack at the National Communication Association

David Randall

The National Communication Association faces an important decision as it becomes the latest battleground between intellectual merit and diversity.

Episode #21: Last Month Today, March Newscast


March was a busy month, from college admission scandals to free speech executive orders we had our hands full. Listen in and hear what the NAS staff has to say about March's biggest higher education news stories.

Professor's Racial Harassment of White Student was 'Personal'

Dion J. Pierre

A Native American professor at San Diego State University racially harassed a white student, the California State Department of Justice concluded last week.

Classroom Diversity and Its Mentality of Taboo

Charles Geshekter

NAS member Charles Geshekter writes about the dogma of diversity in higher education.

What Damore's Memo Taught Google

Peter Wood

The recent attempts to include more women and racial minorities in STEM fields could have drawbacks. 

Charlottesville—One Poison, Two Bottles

Peter Wood

UVA didn’t invite racial violence, but it wasn’t entirely an innocent on-looker either.

The Declining Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness

J. Martin Rochester

The fifth of a five-part essay, Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education, by political scientist J. Martin Rochester.

The Declining Commitment to Academic Freedom and the Free Exchange of Ideas

J. Martin Rochester

The fourth of a five-part essay, Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education, by political scientist J. Martin Rochester.

Courageous Conversations?

J. Martin Rochester

The third of a five-part essay, Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education, by political scientist J. Martin Rochester.

Reflections on the Misery in Missouri

J. Martin Rochester

The second of a five-part essay, Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education, by political scientist J. Martin Rochester.

The 2015 Campus Crisis

J. Martin Rochester

The first of a five-part essay, Mizzou Madness: A Case Study of Non-Diversity, Non-Freedom, and Non-Academics in Higher Education, by political scientist J. Martin Rochester.

Harvard Prepares to Host All Black Graduation

Dion J. Pierre

Is Harvard's all black graduation a benign trend or a step backwards? 

College Officials, Take Note: We’re Watching You

Roger Clegg

Roger Clegg discusses public disapproval of affirmative action, Fisher II, and responsible legal options for universities. 

How Diversity Came to Mean 'Downgrade the West'

Are students gaining anything by replacing the universalism of the West with the particularism of diversity?

Virginia Tech's Welcome Mat: Diversity Edu

Ashley Thorne

Students at Virginia Tech and other universities are being "nudged" into diversity with a new and costly not-for-credit course. 

The Genesis of Hamilton's Diversity Requirement

George Leef

Civil Rights in the Republic

George Seaver

The latent causes of faction are sown in the nature of man.

Affirmative Action at the University of Louisville: A Case Study

Ben Foster

An examination of the application of seldom-scrutinized affirmative action policies in one university.

Looking Back at the Duke Lacrosse Case after Ten Years

George Leef

A professor reflects on the decade-old Duke case and the lack of change at the university.

On the Alleged Need to "Improve Diversity" in Grad Admissions

George Leef

Professor Jonathan Marks critiques Julie Posselt's most recent book on grad school admission processes. 

UCLA Law Professor Rick Sander: The evidence that racial preferences do cause "mismatch"

George Leef

UCLA law professor Rick Sander writes about the importance of "mismatch" due to racial preferences.

Fisher II and Strict Scrutiny: Not Very Strict

Glenn Ricketts

Jonathan Bean isn't expecting a great deal to change if the Supreme Court holds the University of Texas to "strict scrutiny."

In Fisher II, the Supreme Court Should Look at Reality, Not Pretense

Peter Wood

NAS President Peter Wood zeroes in on the use of "diversity" to justify the racial preference regime on campus, and explains why the Supreme Court should abandon the diversity rationale entirely.

In WSJ, A Case for Accreditors to Keep Out of Racial Preferences

Gail Heriot

NAS board member Gail Heriot asks Congress to keep educational accreditors from forcing racial preferences on colleges and universities.

A Logician Sees Through the Fallacious Arguments for "Diversity"

George Leef

Professor Carl Cohen, a professor at the University of Michigan, opposes granting preference to students on the basis of ethnicity.

Diversity Clauses for UCLA

Ashley Thorne

Ashley Thorne shows how UCLA's priority on diversity puts pressure on faculty members' academic freedom. 

Virginia Tech Must Eliminate Diversity Requirements

Ashley Thorne

Update on Virginia Tech's tenure guidelines. 

“Diversity” and “Inclusion” Litmus Tests for Tenure

Ashley Thorne

Virginia Tech is now asking candidates for promotion and tenure to prove their "active involvement in diversity and inclusion."

Fisher v. Texas: Just Say No to Racial Preferences

George Leef

The upcoming Supreme Court decision could end racial discrimination on College admissions.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

Peter Wood

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter.

Is Brown America's most diversity crazed university?

George Leef

John Rosenberg argues against the potential effectiveness of Brown University's diversity initiative.

The Ongoing Madness in Madison

George Leef

The University of Wisconsin, Madison recruits many academically weak students to make the campus more diverse, but the open admission standards erode the university's academic integrity.

Group Preferences Based on "Place" vs. Preferences Based on Race

George Leef

George Leef reviews Professor Sheryll Cashin's recent book, Place, Not Race.

The Unstoppable Mania

George Leef

Will there ever be enough diversity?

The Chronicle Reports And Reflects “Diversity,” 2014

John Rosenberg

Efforts to promote diversity often result in the ubiquitous labeling of the diverse as deficient.

Dartmouth’s Freedom Budget: Peaceful Protest, or Intolerant Tolerance?

Marilee Turscak

Dartmouth president Philip Hanlon hopes to tame the tempers of Freedom Budget activists, but it remains to be seen whether he can truly transform the college.

Outside the 'Consensus'—Notes of a Climate Change 'Denier'

Peter Wood

With regard to climate change, the academy enforces a hardened orthodoxy with increasing determination.

Diversity Is a Sugar-Coated Lemon

Ashley Thorne

If colleges were at least honest about censoring opinions they don't like, would we be any better off?

A Tale of Two Diversity Administrators

Glenn Ricketts

What they do on their own time matters sometimes, but not others.  It's all about diversity.

A Campus Conversation About Diversity of Ideas

J. Martin Rochester

A campus diversity council hears a case for intellectual diversity.

Napolitano's Law-Breaking Scheme at UCal

Peter Wood

In her new presidency at the University of California, Janet Napolitano is embracing academic corruption in the form of a spending spree on diversity.

Diversity Uber Alles!

George Leef

Ignoring the Supreme Court's statements in Fisher v. Texas, the Departments of Education and Justice have told college officials that racial preferences are still permissible.

Educational Malpractice Abounding

George Leef

George Leef on the real harms inflicted by mismatch in higher ed.

Telling the Truth About "Holistic" Admissions

George Leef

George Leef weighs in on the recent New York Times article about UC Berkeley's admission procedures.

Bob Weissberg on the Higher Ed Establishment's "Diversity Statement"

George Leef

The higher education establishment has made a feeble and deceptive defense of racial preferences in college admissions.

Roger Clegg versus the higher ed establishment's "diversity statement"

George Leef

Attorney Roger Clegg looks at the higer ed establishment's recent statement in the NYT on racial preferences.

Diversity After Fisher: The Establishment Speaks

Peter Wood

Doubts about racial preferences could cause fissures in higher ed's coral reef of "diversity."

Equal Opportunity and Social Justice

Tessa Carter

Equal opportunity for all?

Making Your Campus Climate More Intrusive

Glenn Ricketts

LGBTIQQAP is the latest addition to the lengthening list of campus groups requiring special treatment.

English Professor Analyzes Obsession Over "Diversity"

George Leef

Anthony Esolen explains why the pursuit of "diversity" leads to diversity's end.

Speculating on the End of the Racial Spoils System

Robert Weissberg

Robert Weissberg surmises that the crumbling of racial preferences in higher education may be near.

Rutgers President Announces Plan to Inflate Diversity Bureaucracy

Ashley Thorne

Rutgers University has appointed a new Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and will create Vice Chancellors for Diversity and Inclusion on all campuses.

Damage Done by Diversity at Navy

George Leef

The US Naval Academy embraces diversity.

Racial Color-Blindness Won't Defend Itself

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reflects on the recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court to strike down Michigan's ban on racial preferences in admission to public universities. He considers that we can't take for granted that the Supreme Court will reverse this decision.

UCSD’s New Hire

Crystal Plum

With diversity as a top priority at the University of California, the San Diego branch hopes to invest even more with its new vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Against "Diversity"

John Rosenberg

Roger Clegg and John S. Rosenberg offer ten reasons to oppose the "diversity" rationale for racial preferences. They argue that "diversity" is discrimination, and provide evidence that its costs are high.

Green Acres

Peter Wood

Colleges and universities tend to spend lavishly on diversity and sustainability initiatives, but is this really the best use of their (and taxpayers') money?

Teresa Sullivan and Diversity: Then and Now

Glenn Ricketts

University of Virginia president Sullivan once viewed "diversity" very differently than she does now.

Was Teresa Sullivan an Affirmative Action Hire?

John Rosenberg

John Rosenberg considers whether the UVa president's efforts for campus "diversity" have played a role in advancing her career.

Leftist Nostalgia for Academic Standards

Peter Wood

Peter Wood compares the second thoughts of a famous Marxist literary critic and the UCLA faculty’s rejection of a proposed diversity requirement.

Affirmative Action: Absurdity and Beyond

Glenn Ricketts

Academic "diversity" policies just keep on diversifying.

Counting Jews: CUNY Diversity Report Includes "White/Jewish" Label

Peter Wood

Peter Wood criticizes CUNY’s use of “White/Jewish” as a separate minority group for diversity planning.

Crumbia U President Discusses Diversity

Glenn Ricketts

This really is a joke, but you might well wonder.

UCLA: Still Obsessed with Diversity

Peter Wood

The College of Letters and Science at the University of California-Los Angeles will soon vote on whether to add a required general education course called "Community and Conflict" - which simply turns out to be a new euphemism for diversity.

Diversity: Obama's Higher Education Agenda, Part 5 of 8

Peter Wood

In the fifth of an eight-part series, Peter Wood examines the president’s pursuit of diversity in higher education.

More Better Citizens: Obama's Higher-Education Agenda, Part 4B of 8

Peter Wood

Peter Wood looks at the ways "diversity," loan forgiveness for public service, the Common Core State Standards, and Obama's earlier involvment with the group Public Allies show the President's overall determination to use higher education as a tool of political ideology.

SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Fisher Case

Ward Connerly

The decision of the Supreme Court to hear the Fisher v. UT case is potentially of historic significance.

SCOTUS Grants Certiorari in UTexas Admissions Case

Glenn Ricketts

The Supreme Court grants Certiorari in a major affirmative action case in Texas.


Dollars for Diversity and Equity at U of Az

Glenn Ricketts

Those agitating for social justice get a financial boost at the University of Arizona

Social Justice Revival?

Glenn Ricketts

Whatever “social justice” is, it’s certainly not poor.

Diversity Will Cure Our Ills!

George Leef

To professors who dont' embrace diversity fervently enough.

Look Who's Endorsing a Race-Based View of Knowledge

Robert Weissberg

A new document from the American Political Science Association views race and epistemology as inseparable.

Admissions Preferences

George Leef

California has a concrete diversity ceiling that discriminates against high performing students of Asian origin.

Graduate School Administrators Unwittingly Parody Themselves

John Rosenberg

The Council of Graduate Schools compensates for its decision to meet in Arizona - a state it considered boycotting - by paying homage to diversity.

University of Delaware's Diversity Mania Rages On

George Leef

A blogger whom I assume to be a University of Delaware grad writes here about the latest manifestations of the school's diversity mania. It has recently established a new Center for the Study of Diversity (how much skepticism do you think there will be as to the benefits of it?) and that student course evaluations now include a question asking what lawyers would consider a leading question: were you prejudged by the professor based on your race, ethnicity or gender?

New Diversity Guidelines, Same Old Problems

Glenn Ricketts

Over at NRO, Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity has this useful discussion of the Obama adminitration's new "guidance" for colleges and universities seeking to enhance racial "diversity" without getting in trouble with the law. 

Fred Reed Pokes Fun at Our Diversity Mania, Particularly in Higher Ed

George Leef

Fred Reed has written a delicious little satire on America's mania for diversity and imagines the effects of the "Look Like America Bill" on college classes, symphony orchestras, and other institutions.

"Diversity": Weighing the Cost

John Rosenberg

In spite of budget cutbacks and fiscal crises the annual expenditures for diversity programming in academe continues to be on the rise. As John Rosenberg tallies the cost, can you find the benefit?

"Diversity": Is There Anything It Can't Do?

John Rosenberg

Can high scores on a nine-point "interactional diversity scale" keep students in school longer?

If the Diversicrats Took Their Own Theory Seriously....

George Leef

It seems that quite a few of them ought to resign so that their positions could be filled by others who better "mirror the diversity of society." At least that's the implication of this recent Dartblog post. I'm guessing that the theory ceases to apply when it comes to the non-diverse people who form the backbone of the diversity-enforcement crowd. Hat tip: Jack Sommer

The Diversity Mania Invades Medical School Admissions

George Leef

Yale's med school is jumping aboard the bandwagon for increasing diversity in its student body, aiming to include more LGBT students. I can't see how aiming at quotas (or "goals" or some other euphemism) for this or any other type of student will improve the overall competency of the medical profession. I can see the reverse of that.

Evidence of Racial Preferences at UW-Madison?

Kate Hamilton

W. Lee Hansen, a member of NAS and Professor Emeritus of Economics at UW-Madison, provides evidence that the preferential admissions process at UW discriminates based on race and ethnicity. 

"Diversity:" How it Might Work Differently

Glenn Ricketts

Ethnic and racial diversity among students needn't be a problem on college campuses, argues long-time NAS member Russell Nieli. 

Peter Wood Quoted in New York Times on Fisher Case

Peter Wood

A case headed to the Supreme Court may change the way U.S. colleges consider diversity as a rationale for racial preferences in admissions. What really matters, says NAS president Peter Wood, is intellectual diversity.

Should Schools Become "Proactive" in Recruiting LGBT Students?

George Leef

Will LGBT status or socio-economic status become the next mania among college admissions people intent on making their campuses "balanced" and "mirroring diversity"?

Berkeley Students' Bake Sale No Piece of Cake

Glenn Ricketts

Judging by the UCal Berkeley administration's nuke 'em reaction, you might have thought that the Ku Klux Klan had staged a rally on campus, rather than a symbolic bake sale by college Republicans protesting the university's race-based admissions policies. Mind you, I didn't expect that the school's "diversity" machine would be exactly thrilled by the sale of differently-priced cupcakes, calculated to reflect the extent to which some students' admissions were weighted higher according to racial or ethnic classifications. But for Pete's sake, why did they send in the 101st airborne? Bob Weissberg has an interesting take on the whole mess in this article over at Minding the Campus.

More on the Mind of a Diversity Officer

Glenn Ricketts

Last week, we posted John Rosenberg's piece commenting on the first full-time "diversity officer," one William B. Harvey, who was interviewed in CHE, and who is now dean of the education school at North Carolina A & T University. 

The Mind of a Pioneering Diversity Officer

John Rosenberg

One diversity guru illustrates the semantic leaps necessary for creating campus diversity bureaucracy.

Collegiate Press Roundup

Glenn Ricketts

Student journalists take on the big issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian standoff, campus diversity, religion and politics and what awaits graduating seniors out there in the real world.

Mobbing For Preferences

Peter Wood

Peter Wood discusses students' live-action defense of racial preferences at UW Madison.

Diversity or Bust at UW

Glenn Ricketts

Peter Wood takes an extended look at last week's not-so-spontaneous "diversity" demonstration at UW/Madison, which disrupted a press conference and was apparently given a very encouraging push by a senior UW administrator. 

UW Diversity: It's Not Just About Free Speech

Glenn Ricketts

While free speech on a college campus may have been the high profile issue of the recent disruptions of guest speakers by students at UW/Madison, political scientist Bob Weissberg surveys the university's vast "diversity industry" at Minding the Campus and compares it to his remembrance of UW long ago and far away, during his days as a graduate student. 

A Racially Restrictive Pipeline?

John Rosenberg

Displaying “grit and academic improvement” is not limited to minorities.

More on UW "Diversity" Protests

Glenn Ricketts

Minding the Campus today features CEO president Roger Clegg's eyewitness account of the recent "diversity" protests by students at the University of Wisconsin, along with this commentary by KC Johnson. As you can see, it takes much stronger stuff than anything the protestors could muster to daunt Roger Clegg.

Do College Administrators Misappropriate "Diversity"?

Peter Wood

A Johns Hopkins professor lays the entire blame for the rise of political correctness on power-driven campus administrators. But haven't faculty members played their part?

More "Food For Thought" From Sociology (If Youre On A Starvation Diet)

John Rosenberg

Race relations among students are better outside the classroom, where political correctness keeps them from speaking honestly.

Leave It to the Sociologists...

John Rosenberg

This year's meeting of the American Sociological Association includes a paper about minorities' (rational) choices to apply to selective colleges.

Diversity and Western Civilization

William H. Young

William H. Young examines the impact of "diversity" policies on the American polity.

Jan Blits on Campus Liberty

Ashley Thorne

At a recent gathering of college students, Professor Jan Blits, NAS's Delaware affiliate head, urged students not to take liberty for granted.

Divided US Appeals Court Upholds Texas "Top Ten Per Cent" Law

Glenn Ricketts

Our friend Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity notes at Phi Beta Cons that a full US Fifth Circuit Appeals court has upheld the ruling of a three-judge panel in favor of the "top ten per cent" admissions policies adopted for state institutions in Texas. You can also read about it here at Inside Higher Education.

Facebook Gets Multicultural About China and Censorship

Jonathan Bean

In a recent article, the Wall Street Journal quotes Mark Zuckerberg, the kid from Harvard who heads the CEO of a company-not-yet-public. (Goldman-Sachs VIP insiders only, please). What disturbed me about the article is not that another company is breaking into the so-called China market after the Google row over censorship. I'm more disturbed by the mealy-mouth rationalization of Zuckerberg, who seems to have breathed in the multicultural fumes of higher education.

Whose Imperative?

Douglas Campbell

The president of CSU-Chico declares that there is a “diversity imperative,” but inadvertently reveals his true agenda.

Students Tell It Like It Is

Glenn Ricketts

One of the things I really enjoy in preparing Collegiate Press Roundup each week is finding students who are willing to say things that many faculty - and certainly administrators - wouldn't dare. 

How Campus Ethnic Groups Drive Political Conformity: An Interview with Brittney Morrett

Ashley Thorne

A recent college graduate reflects on a Latino fraternity's decision to officially denounce laws restricting illegal immigration.

Video: Ashley Thorne on Sustainability as Staff and Rod for the New Elite

Sustainability, as the latest politically correct campus ideology, aims to fix attitudes rather than promote disciplined study.

God Loves Diversity and Justice...No Comment

Ashley Thorne

An event at SMU's school of theology brings together progressive scholars from across the spectrum of identity groups.

Diversity Mania in Law Schools

George Leef

This Chronicle article covers a recent symposium on that most horrific of problems, an inadequate level of diversity. The focus of this particular symposium was insufficient diversity in the legal profession. A revealing quotation: "Our profession is among the least diverse in the country," said Conrad A. Johnson, a panelist and clinical professor at Columbia. "If we maintain the current status quo, we will find ourselves falling further and further behind if our goal is to obtain parity with the general population." Why should that be a goal of law schools or of the legal profession? If someone wants a good estate planning attorney, he doesn't care about the ancestry of the best estate planners he might choose, much less the diversity of the whole legal profession. The law profs who fret about "parity with the general population" have a central planning mentality that's common among academics, but is completely irrelevant to decision-makers in the real world.

Diversity Vigil at Princeton Theological Seminary

Ashley Thorne

Students and faculty gathered at the seminary to rehearse racial grievances and express outrage over flyers distributed on campus about the link between eugenics and African American abortions.

Yes, It Is Time for Complacency on Racial Diversity

George Leef

The Chronicle has an article by Arthur Coleman and Scott Palmer (both lawyers who worked in the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights) entitled "No Time for Complacency on Racial Diversity." George Leef of the Pope Center sent off a letter in reply, arguing that we ought to be complacent about racial diversity, as well as diversity of all other kinds.

Could the UNC System Do Without Diversity Offices?

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, Duke Cheston looks at the numerous diversity offices throughout the UNC System. College campuses would still be highly diverse if we stopped trying to increase the percentages of students who have certain ancestries.

Diversity, Texas Style

Glenn Ricketts

KC Johnson and Charlotte Allen provide some useful analysis of the Fifth Circuit's appeals level decision upholding the the race-based admissions policies of the University of Texas, Austin. 

Not a Coincidence

Glenn Ricketts

A veteran of many faculty searches thinks it's more than plausible -- having experienced first-hand the heavy breathing of administrators determined to "diversify" the faculty -- that minority hires have been given a lower bar of competence. 

A Playground of Words and Ideas

Peter Wood

Peter Wood looks at Google’s new database of digitized books and shares some lessons on diversity.

The Diversity Camel Gets Its Nose Under the Engineering Tent

George Leef

An engineering professor writes about the incursion of political correctness into the field of engineering.

Multiculturalism is Over

Ashley Thorne

NAS member Roger Scruton asserts that the hypocrisies of multiculturalism have finally led to its decline.

Who Owns Philanthropy?

Peter Wood

Peter Wood responds to the Greenlining Institute on the threats to voluntary philanthropic giving.

What a Dull School Cal Tech Must Be

George Leef

How do the Cal Tech students ever learn about students who are different from themselves?  How do they ever manage to overcome their biases and learn to celebrate diversity?"

Diversity Babble

Douglas Campbell

California State University, Chico circumvents the law with disingenuous rationalizations for "diversity."

'Diversity: The Invention of a Concept' Makes 'Dissenting Book' List

Ashley Thorne

The David Horowitz Freedom Center has listed NAS President Peter Wood's book Diversity: The Invention of a Concept in its inventory of "150+ Books You Should Be Reading In Class, But Probably Aren't." Diversity is featured this week as part of the Center's "Adopt a Dissenting Book" campaign. Thanks to the Freedom Center for the plug, and we certainly encourage student to take its advice and learn the truth about the roots of the campus "diversity" movement. It's not something colleges and universities are transparent about, and it will help you distinguish diversity as an ideology from diversity as physical and cultural variation. In The New Criterion, John Derbyshire called Diversity "a fine book, full of cogent arguments, curious facts, and nasty slimy things that burrowed away unnoticed under the foundations of our culture till Professor Wood turned them up with his trowel." We don't want today's students to miss those arguments, facts, and slimy things.

Quotas at Quinnipiac: "We Very Much Want an African-American for That Particular Position"

Ashley Thorne

A university president announces his intention to hire a "high-quality African-American." At a meeting last week he said, "Having that person be an African-American is very important to concluding that search."

Sustainability News: October 2010

Ashley Thorne

"Sustainability is no longer a buzz word," says an MSU administrator. So if it's not a buzzword, what's all the buzz on college campuses about?

The Inscrutable Americans

John Rosenberg

Chinese scholars have it right when they equate "American diversity with chaos."

"Lily-White Imbalances": Blatant Reverse Racism at Brooklyn College

Ashley Thorne

A faculty member's call for racial discrimination gives us a window into the shallow world of "diversity" in academe.

$600 for "Teaching to Diversity" at CSU Chico

Ashley Thorne

Professors are invited to join a committee that will find ways to impose "diversity in the classroom."

From Diversity to Sustainability: How Campus Ideology is Born

Peter Wood

Sustainability, like diversity, subtracts from the better purposes of higher education.

Getting Diversity Right

Ashley Thorne

NAS contributing author Jason Fertig rejoiced when he read a student's essay on the meaning of diversity and how it contributes to organizations' success. She wrote that diversity should require "a variety of minds" - regardless of skin color. An excerpt from her paper:

People have become too sensitive in today’s society when it comes to diversity. Just because there are more white men with the same color of light skin in one office building does not mean that they do their job better or worse than a diverse office with a mix of races, genders, and skin colors. Diverse organizations should be made up of a variety of minds. Race, color, sex, nationality, and religion should not be the sole determining factors of whether an organization is diverse or not. Different thoughts and opinions are what make organizations work and thrive. Different people coming together and putting their ideas together is how we transform and grow our organizations. Once society begins to understand this, our organizations will not have to worry about discrimination or affirmative action; diversity will come naturally.

A Variety of...Minds? One Student Gets Diversity Right

Jason Fertig

An unorthodox response to the essay question "What is the definition of diversity?"

Nouveau Relativism in Academe

Peter Wood

Further thoughts on the AAC&U’s praise of ‘perspective-taking.’

Will the Diversity Mania Ever End?

George Leef

Maybe, but it's still growing like mad. Consider John Rosenberg's new essay on Minding the Campus, on the efforts college administrators are making to solve the supposed problem of insufficient diversity in study-abroad programs. It's not enough to diversify the student body by picking some students on the basis of their ancestry; if any aspect of college life doesn't "model diversity" then something must be done. Too few black students think that study-abroad programs are worthwhile and that's a problem that must be addressed. All those Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers need something to do. They scour the college landscape hunting for "inequities" like this. What next?  The chess club?

Virginia Tech's New "Diversity" Litmus Test

Ashley Thorne

An Argus volunteer gave us an update on the latest efforts to enforce "diversity" on faculty members at Virginia Tech.  Last year Virginia Tech required faculty members to prove the value of their "contributions to diversity" in order to be eligible for promotion and tenure.

This year the University is seeking to ensure that only those who play the diversity game get faculty appointments in the first place. To this end it has fashioned a "diversity" litmus test for faculty hiring. Read about this serious issue in "Will You Promote Diversity? Virginia Tech Tests Faculty Candidates' Commitment," by Peter Wood and Ashley Thorne.

Texas Hold `Em

David Clemens

Over at Pajamasmedia, “Zombie” is in the midst of a five part analysis of the Texas textbook battle.  In The Language Police (2004), Diane Ravitch argued that to avoid offending any conceivable sensibility, publishers produce absurd textbooks in which men cannot be depicted as larger than women, Asians cannot appear studious, and the elderly must not be ill or infirm.  In a word:  pablum.  Zombie, however, sees the Texas smackdown as a significant rebellion against the Left’s Gramscian “long march through the institutions” which has necessitated speech codes, historical revisionism, and dubious curriculum standards.  One recalls the noxious National Standards for U.S. and World History exposed by Lynne Cheney here and National Council of the Teachers of English “standards” that include expectations such as “Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes . . . .”  Oh, the rigor!  American education may wear the face of Alfred E. Neuman, but he has a globalist, multiculturalist, social justice lovin' grin. Zombie lambasts both Right and Left in the Texas shoot-out but he also notes that

. . . activists [once] denounced nationwide educational standards which prevented teachers from presenting `alternative’ facts and viewpoints. But now that the once-alternative progressive framework has become ascendent [sic] and dominates the education landscape, the left (or at least the Obama wing of the left) has flipped policies, and these days they insist on imposing nationwide educational standards to prevent any local schoolboards or states from sneaking off the political plantation and exposing students to conservative values.

Running through Friday; check it out.

Will You Promote Diversity? Virginia Tech Tests Faculty Candidates Commitment

Peter Wood

A major public university has fashioned a “diversity” litmus test for faculty hiring.

State of the Campus at UNC-Greensboro: Politically Correct Pandering

Ashley Thorne

Today NAS received a copy of this speech by UNC-Greensboro Chancellor Linda P. Brady.  The speech was given on August 18, 2010 as a "State of the Campus" address. Brady bows to politically correct idols in a fashion typical at today's colleges and universities: Diversity

  • The University has launched a search for a new Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion [Quite a title!]
  • Chancellor Brady is “especially proud of the hard work of faculty search and promotion and tenure committees, reflected in the growing number of women faculty and ethnic minority faculty in the junior ranks” [Are there gender and ethnicity quotas for faculty members?]
  • According to a report by The Education Trust, “On average, 56 percent of African American students at UNCG graduate in six years, compared with 51 percent of white students. To quote from the report, ‘Clearly, when colleges focus on student success, all students benefit greatly – particularly students of color.’” [Does UNCG have programs to help white students graduate too?]


  • Sustainability “remains a core value at UNCG” [A core value that competes with the real business of education]
  • “In 2009-10 UNCG appointed a full-time sustainability coordinator in facilities operations, initiated planning for implementation of a behavior-based energy conservation program...” [Sounds like an effort to change behavior through small, everyday changes – like getting rid of cafeteria trays and making dorm halls compete to use the least energy]

Learning Communities

  • The University aims to place all new undergraduate students in residential “learning communities.” [Is this similar to the University of Delaware’s 2007 mandatory residence life “citizenship” program – an Orwellian effort to change students’ “thoughts, values, beliefs, and actions”?]


Who Should Be a Doctor?

George Leef

Medical school admissions people apparently think that medical training has been going too much toward students with demonstrated aptitude in science and the nation would be better served if more medical students were chosen on other grounds, including geography. In today's Pope Center piece, Duke Cheston, a recent UNC graduate who majored in biology, writes about the shifting emphasis in med school admissions.

Let's Give Diversity the Gate

Glenn Ricketts

I could be wrong, but in the wake of all the mudwrestling that's followed the NAACP's recent branding of Tea Partiers as racists, I think that the ideological fulcrum of the "diversity" debate has significantly shifted ground. For once, the response by public figures has been direct and emphatic, instead of the usual backpedaling after some vague, apologetic mumbling about the need to "include" all groups, the value of a diverse work force or the wish to avoid offending anyone, etc., etc., etc. The public rejection of the NAACP's allegations, moreover, has been bi-partisan, including prominent Republicans such as Sarah Palin and no less than Vice President Biden and President Obama on the Democratic side of the aisle. Hopefully, this means that absurd or silly allegations of racism will no longer compel politicans and bureaucrats to jump through the hoop as they've done so frequently in the past. Especially encouraging, though, is this piece by Virgina Democrat James Webb in today's Wall Street Journal. Webb argues that although "diversity" policies had their origins in the laudable and necessary efforts to redress the unique injustices suffered by black Americans, they have long since become obsessed with skin color or ethnic background, often with unconcealed hostility toward whites. Thus, newly arrived immigrants often benefit from these policies, even though their own experiences don't remotely resemble those of blacks. It doesn't stop there either, since in many academic institutions, "diversity" and "inclusiveness" now extend to ever -expanding categories of sexuality, life experiences or those with physical disabilities. A particularly hard sell for me has always been affirmative action for "women" within the diversity rubric, as though the largely white, middle-class feminist movement could claim grievances comparable to those suffered historically by blacks. Yet many academic job postings routinely specify that "women and ethnic or racial minorities are especially encouraged to apply." That doesn't compute. Anyway, Webb says it's now time to end racial preferences, stop discriminating against whites, and simply treat everyone equally under the law. Amen.

Striving for Socio-Economic Diversity

George Leef

In this Chronicle post, Richard Kahlenberg responds to some criticism (which he labels as "right" and "left") of his signature issue, namely promoting socio-economic diversity as another criterion in college admissions. I don't think his responses are convincing. Moreover, he overlooks two assumptions his case rests on. I know that at least the latter of the two has been attacked because I have done so. First, Kahlenberg leaps to the conclusion that just because a student comes from a relatively poor family and succeeds in school well enough to qualify for college admission, that student is a "striver" who has "overcome obstacles." I don't think that follows. Being relatively poor in the U.S. does not mean deprivation of anything essential. And with the lowering of academic standards, graduating from high school with "good" grades is pretty easy these days. Some kids from poorer homes no doubt have had to deal with serious problems and disruptions around them, but we shouldn't assume that low-income status implies that. Besides, there are non-poor students who have managed to deal with difficulties. Second, what is the reason for thinking that it's a "reward" to go to an elite college or university? If, for example, a student from a relatively poor family in eastern North Carolina could get into East Carolina on his merits, is it much better for him to instead go to Duke? The assumption seems to be that schools with higher US News rankings are "better" schools, but what justifies that assumption? Courses are not necessarily taught better at Duke; they may be taught less well. Will the student have a brighter, more lucrative career with a Duke pedigree than ECU? Possibly, but it's by no means certain. The reverse is possible, especially if the student is near the bottom of the more intellectually competitive student body at Duke. Finally, the more prestigious degree might help the student land his first job, but in the long run people are rewarded on their productivity, not their credentials. I'm with Roger Clegg (see his comment) in thinking that the less colleges give preferences to applicants because of characteristics such as family ancestry and circumstances and the more they evaluate them on academic interest and aptitude, the better.

Diversity? Of Course We Have Diversity

Glenn Ricketts

If you haven't already done so, check out this piece by Ross Douthat in the New York Times. Following up on Russell Nieli's compelling reasearch, which we referenced here last week, Douthat - himself a Harvard graduate - takes note of the deep and ever widening cultural divide between elite academic institutions and the values of rural, religiously observant working-class whites, who are notably absent from Ivy League campuses. Don't think though, that this means anyone sees a need to seek them out for the sake of increasing "diversity" at Yale or Princeton. No, the academics at these cloistered, self-referencing institutions are likely to see only "crypto-klansmen and budding Timothy McVeighs" among the farmers, Eagle Scouts or aspiring R.O.T.C. candidates who currently have the toughest row to hoe if they apply to most top schools. If these applicants think that the deck is stacked against them, that's because it is: the "perfessers" really don't like folks like them.

Diversity Discriminates

Ashley Thorne

How elite colleges and universities unfairly rig admissions standards and call it "diversity."

Russ Nieli Writes About "Diversity's" Dirty Little Secret

George Leef

Princeton's Russ Nieli has an illuminating essay on Minding the Campus entitled "How Diversity Punishes Asians, Poor Whites and Lots of Others." It absolutely knocks the stuffing out of the contention we hear so often from college administrators that their reason for using certain preferences is that a more "diverse" student body will enhance learning and break down stereotypes. If they actually wanted to do that, they would look for students who really do bring different beliefs and perspectives and would drop the bias Nieli shows against students from military families, those who have been active in groups like 4H, and so on. They aren't looking for Justice Powell's phantom "educational benefits of diversity" but are merely looking to fill quotas. Nieli advocates that elite colleges get over their diversity mania and follow what he calls the Cal Tech model: focus on enrolling students who are the most academically talented and the most eager to learn.

Diversity: The Expanded Version

Glenn Ricketts

You may have thought - or wished - that American colleges and universities had finally exhausted the outer reaches of "diversity" on their campuses. Really, there's simply GOT to be a finite limit to this thing, and we really will run out of special categories, special programs, special courses, special campus codes and relentless micromanagement by administrators, hiring committees and dormitory resident heads seeing that students and faculty members are sufficiently serious about "diversity." Well, if that's what you thought, brace yourself: according to this piece in today's Chronicle of Higher Education, a new, significantly expanded version of "diversity" is about to arrive on campus, with lots of new student classifications and obligations to accomodate them. And here's a surprise: this also means vastly greater possibilities for antidiscrimination litigation as well. Take students with various physical or learning disabilities, for example: they're accustomed to all kinds of accomodations, whether in the use of guide dogs or the constant availability of special education teachers during their K-12 years that aren't currently provided in most college programs. If all of they're accustomed to receiving these services at the secondary level, then why can't colleges and universities do likewise? There may be nothing wrong providing such accomodations, of course, but it's not immediately obvious how they're related to the idea of "diversity." This is in addition, of course, to the endlessly proliferating categories of ethnic racial and sexual categories which will have to be recognized and accomodated. If you've been troubled by the imperial march of "diversity" up to now, this is not going to make for very edifying reading. Simillar to The Blob, it expands endlessly. The comments thread, though, suggests that a number of readers have finally reached their limits and are willing to say so. Hopefully, they'll speak up at faculty meetings as well.

Domestic Faction in a Republic, Part III

George Seaver

In the United States today - education, media, law, family policy, and national security - deconstruction clashes with classical liberalism.

A Word on Academic Attire

Brian T. Johnson

This weekend, I graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in political science. Walking across the stage to receive my diploma gave me a great feeling, particularly after being away from school for a few years. My experience this past year at a major state university instructed me not only in the nature of scholarship, but in those other things that have so little to do with, but so often accompany, the serious work of the academy. The commencement exercise featured the usual fanfare, a notable part of which has become the donning of specialized, non-academic apparel in addition to the traditional academic attire of such events. Students not only wear gown, cap and tassel, but many if not most black students also displayed brightly-colored, boldly-designed sashes, ribbons and mortar board decorations representing racially-defined organizations.  The idea seems to be to celebrate the black experience of one's college years. Call me curmudgeonly, but I think this inappropriately draws attention away from those wearing distinctive apparel recognizing actual academic achievement. This strikes me as a presumptuous prerogative.  The function of commencement is to confer an academic degree and mark a new start for graduates. The alternative attire not only ignores that purpose and diverts attention from its highest exemplars, but elevates racial identity to similar standing with the active, educational endeavors of the wearer. Academic officials would do well to curtail this "celebration of diversity," restoring dignity not only of ceremonial purpose,  but to all its participants.

The Ivory Tower of Babel

David Clemens

The current issue of Academic Questions focuses on “sustainability,” that hollow abstraction around which coalesce feel-good connotations of moral superiority and environmental correctness.  At the very least, higher education should foster a scrupulous, continuous, and critical attention to language, yet academia today seems more enamored of rhetoric which is either empty (“student success”) or deceptive (“social justice”).  My own college has an institutional commitment to “diversity,” a word whose apparent meaning changes from document to document even though HR requires all teaching applicants to produce a “Diversity Statement.”  Diversity is a good thing and we’re for it, and, by gosh, you had better be, too, whatever it is! We also have an institutional commitment to “critical thinking.”  In my experience, most teachers are confident they know what critical thinking is (it’s what they do) but hardly any can provide a definition.  For them, "critical thinking" is just another abstract good thing.  Actually, California State University Chancellor Glenn Dumke's Executive Order 338 defined "critical thinking instruction" as

. . . designed to achieve an understanding of the relationship of language to logic, which should lead to the ability to analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas, to reason inductively and deductively, and to reach factual or judgmental conclusions based on sound inferences drawn from unambiguous statements of knowledge or belief (1980).

Personally, I favor William Graham Sumner’s succinct definition of critical thinking as “the examination of propositions of any kind which are offered for acceptance, in order to find out whether they correspond to reality or not” (1906). By either definition, my school’s proud commitment to “Promote academic excellence and critical thinking across all areas and disciplines” is incoherent since critical thinking is not germane in all disciplines.  Music?  Dance?  Literature?  Ornamental horticulture?  The academy’s adoption of language which is, in Peggy Noonan’s words, “bland and indecipherable,” betrays the foundation of verbal communication itself--that, as David Mulroy puts it in The War Against Grammar, “intelligible statements have definite literal meanings.” “Sustainability,” “diversity,” “social justice,” “critical thinking” are intended to convey feelings, not meanings.  In Disturbing the Peace, Vaclav Havel asks, “Isn't just such a subtle abuse of the truth, and of language, the real beginning . . . of the misery of the world we live in?”  Perhaps higher education should be promoting clarity rather than sponsoring a new confusion of tongues.

Political Correctness

Daniel Asia

I student of mine is applying for a job. Here is some of the verbiage on the job description page: "Strengthened by Diversity GCSU is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative-Action Institution committed to cultural, racial and multi-ethnic communities and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is expected that successful candidates share in this commitment." I note that they don't ask if the candidate is committed to quality scholarship, opposed to smoking, and being committed to rooting out obesity. How lacking in inclusivity!

What, Exactly, is "Diversity Training" About?

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, John Eick (our intern and a student at UNC-Chapel Hill) writes about his experience in a "Diversity 101" training session. Turns out that this amounted to nothing more than a bull session where a UNC staffer brought up a number of feeble leftist tropes regarding "diversity." The exercise was a waste of time and university money, but UNC gets to crow about its commitment to diversity.

My Thoughts on CLS v. Martinez

George Leef

Should campus groups be able to limit membership only to those who share a set of beliefs? Put it that way and the matter seems pretty innocuous. Ah, but if you state that in a pejorative way -- should they be allowed to discriminate against those who don't share that set of beliefs? -- then alarm bells go off in the academic world because "discrimination" is contrary to the cherished notion that all groups must be "diverse." And if it's a Christian group doing the discriminating, add flashing lights and sirens to the alarm bells. In today's Pope Center piece, I comment on the recently argued case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. Even if five members of the Court have swallowed the diversity kool-aid and eventually decide against CLS and its First Amendment arguments, that doesn't mean that universities have to go along with the diversity uber alles approach of Hastings Law School. College officials can and should recognize that there is nothing harmful in letting campus groups set their standards for membership.

A Response to CSU Chico's Diversity Strategy

Ashley Thorne

California State University at Chico’s president, Paul Zingg, has just circulated a draft “diversity action plan for 2010-2015” titled To Form a More Inclusive Learning Community. He asks for feedback on the draft. NAS was happy to oblige:

Diversity came to have a precariously balanced double meaning.  On one side, it evoked the genuine pleasure that Americans have in cultural variety and friendship.  “Diversity” is the sweetness of knowing andliking people unlike yourself and discovering cultural variety.  This aspect of diversity found its way into mainstream marketing and a thousand greeting cards, quilt displays, and children’s TV programs. But this sweet side of diversity was never far away from a distinctly harsher reality: diversity was also based on stoking group identity by evoking (real or imaginary) grievance. Diversity had its own hierarchy of grievances.  The group with the best grievance story is African Americans, who took pride of place in any scheme for distributing the compensatory rewards of diversity.  But the grievance game had and still has lots of players.  The currency is having a narrative of how “my group” suffered at the hands of an intolerant and oppressive society.  Even if, as was often the case, an individual suffered no oppression at all, mere identification with a supposedly oppressed group would suffice.  Diversity in this second sense is a doctrine of group grievance, not a recognition of the particularities of individuals. The two sides of diversity were always in tension.  The first allows for individuality; the second demands conformity to a group identity.  One result was a whole industry of individuals explaining themselves in terms of group identity.  We saw the birth of diversity memoirs, diversity novels, diversity painting, and so on—all aimed at bridging this unbridgeable gap.  How do you make sweetness and bitterness co-resident in the same person?

Attack of the Giant Plethora

Peter Wood

CSU Chico is asking for feedback on the draft of its diversity action plan for 2010-2015. We are happy to oblige.

A Half-Dozen Push-Backs for Faculty Hiring Committee Meetings

Roger Clegg

Tips for standing up against "diversity" hiring.

The Liberal Arts Belong in Liberal Democracy: A Response to Martha Nussbaum

Keith Whitaker

Nussbaum’s apparent defense of the liberal arts turns out to be just another rallying cry for diversity and socialism. But the liberal arts should give citizens the knowledge to understand the worth of freedom and the humanity to make a free life worth living.

Debating Diversity at Smith College...No Comment

Glenn Ricketts

Two contrasting student views of the "main topic" at Smith College.

Are Diversity Discussions Useful?

Brian T. Johnson

Should diversity skeptics bother to participate in diversity discussions? Forums conducive to full and fair discussion would seem to be quite scarce. Is it better to contribute as possible or ignore such events entirely?

NAS Urges Court to Rule Racial Preferences at U Texas Unconstitutional

Ashley Thorne

The NAS has signed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.

Virginia Tech Reasserts 'Diversity' Folly: Part 2

Peter Wood

NAS fisks Virginia Tech's new Strategic Diversity Plan, which fills the sandbags of advocacy against the rising tide of common sense.

Virginia Tech Reasserts 'Diversity' Folly: Part 1

Peter Wood

Virginia Tech is campaigning to impose a comprehensive regime focused on “diversity" - an ossified doctrine of antipathy towards the American social order.

Pas Possible: Discrimination - Against Girls?

Candace de Russy

Kudos to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for raising an issue that the higher education establishment would rather keep buried. The commission's latest inquiry involves suspected gender discrimination on campuses, where women are approaching 60 percent of the applicant pool. As this report indicates, women are “more plentiful” in college admissions, no matter that feminist activists have been carping for years about supposed discrimination against females. The question arises whether, bowing to "reverse" gender bias, campuses  are now limiting the number of women they admit so as to increase the ranks of less meritorious men. Jennifer Rubin at Commentary remarks aptly on this ironic turn of events:

First, where are the Justice Department and so-called feminist groups? They apparently don’t much care if women are now on the short end of gender preferences. It’s all about “diversity,” you see. And second, one realizes how misplaced has been the hue and cry about anti-female discrimination in education. Apparently there is no civil-rights or other organization upset that men now make up only 40 percent of the college-admissions pool. Are they being discriminated against? Are their educational needs being ignored? We don’t know, and no one seems interested in finding out why.

"Diversity" Infection Spreading to Med Schools

George Leef

The mania over "diversity" (that is, preferences for certain people whose ancestry puts them into an "underrepresented" category) has swept through most of American higher education. It's bad enough when, say, English departments fret that they aren't adequately "modeling diversity," but far more worrisome when medical schools do. In this Pope Center article today, I write about this disturbing phenomenon.

Fear of Profiling Trumps Fear of Assault on Campus

Ashley Thorne

An anonymous reader commenting on the NAS.org article "National Security Threatened by Devotion to Diversity" recently reported:

The diversity doctrine not only harms the quality of higher education and, quite possibly, national security; it can also get in the way of campus crime prevention. The following incident illustrates just that. On Tuesday, November 10, a woman employee at my college answered a knock on her office door. Upon opening the door, she was immediately sexually assaulted. A violent struggle ensued between her and her attacker. Due to her screams, the assailant eventually fled the scene. The victim was taken to the hospital and treated for her injuries. She was able to give a competent description of the man who assaulted her. The crime, committed in broad daylight, was scary enough. However, what followed was even scarier. In the aftermath of the crime, campus police posted a sketch and a description of the suspect. The perpetrator was described as a "stocky, five-foot-five Hispanic male" who wore a white sleeveless T-shirt and black gloves. Students and employees were urged to be aware of their surroundings and to alert campus police of any suspicious individuals fitting the description. So far, so good. Then, within 24 hours of the incident, the campus police chief sent a warning via college e-mail, asking that everyone "refrain from engaging in profiling." According to the chief, the sketch had resulted in a number of calls that had "inordinately focused on race, rather than suspicious behavior." The college president also chimed in, cautioning the campus community to not "stereotype anyone on a visual basis," and a couple of well-known PC devotees on the faculty seconded the president's motion. It was truly laughable -- if it had not been so serious. Considering the possibility that descriptions of criminals by race, gender, color or ethnicity will soon be taboo -- and that estimates of a perpetrator's age, height and weight might also be viewed as politically incorrect -- I can easily envision the PC version of the crime that recently happened on my campus. It would sound something like this: "The victim was a person employed by the college. He/she described his/her attacker as another person. In an effort to avoid profiling, a sketch of the assailant will not be made public. What we can tell you is that the person wore a white sleeveless T-shirt and black gloves. However, we caution against any visual stereotyping, particularly of persons wearing white T-shirts and black gloves. We also urge everyone to focus on suspicious behavior, not on the person him/herself." Unfortunately, Army Chief of Staff George Casey does not have to worry about diversity becoming "a casualty." It looks like it is here to stay.

Diversi-Oaths: Creedal Admissions in the American University

Peter Wood

"Diversity" essays in college applications teach students how to bow to an anti-intellectual idol. At Berkeley, the bow is becoming for would-be grad students a full-scale grovel.

National Security Threatened by Devotion to Diversity

Ashley Thorne

We know the diversity doctrine harms the quality of higher education, but did you know that it threatens our national security?

Teeth-Bared Teachers' Ed

Peter Wood

The University of Minnesota looks to make race, class, and gender politics the “overarching framework” for teacher education.

Phony Emotion, Diversity, and Hate Studies

Ashley Thorne

James Taranto has an excellent analysis of the controversy at NYU over Professor Tunku Varadarajan's column on the Fort Hood massacre. In "The 'Diversity' Sham," he notes NYU President John Sexton's timorous reply - "I found it offensive, too" - and points out the problem with 'diversity' in higher education:

This is how "diversity" works in practice: Intellectual contention is drowned out in a sea of emotion, much of it phony. Members of designated victim groups respond to a serious argument with "pain" and "shock" and accusations of "hate," and university administrators make a show of pretending to care.

Taranto's article comes at a good time, as hate studies is now somehow an academic discipline...

ALERT: Pelosi's Health Bill Would Mandate Race-Based Educational Preferences

Candace de Russy

The NAS has long and wisely opposed the use of racial, ethnic, or other criteria unrelated to merit in (among other aspects of campus life) student recruitment and admissions. Those who support this view will find troubling the following requirement embedded in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 1,990-page health-care bill, which as I write she is trying to bring to a vote, and which fomer Lt. Governor of New York Betsy McCaughey, writing in The Wall Street Journal,  has unearthed:

Secs. 2521 and 2533 (pp. 1379 and 1437) establishes racial and ethnic preferences in awarding grants for training nurses and creating secondary-school health science programs. For example, grants for nursing schools should "give preference to programs that provide for improving the diversity of new nurse graduates to reflect changes in the demographics of the patient population." And secondary-school grants should go to schools "graduating students from disadvantaged backgrounds including racial and ethnic minorities."

The academic community en masse should, but of course won't, reject such heavy-handed and unfair federal manipulation of student admissions in the name of diversity. This bill - among its other ill effects - will only add to division and lowered academic standards throughout our educational institutions.

Berkeley and Barriers

Ashley Thorne

A reader commenting on my post "Teaching Can Be Dangerous" wrote:

Speaking of politicization, I have a friend who is applying to a PhD program at Berkeley. He sent me the “personal history statement” that is required from all applicants: “Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Please include information on how you have overcome barriers to access in higher education, evidence of how you have come to understand the barriers faced by others, evidence of your academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities, and individuals from other groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education, evidence of your research focusing on underserved populations or related issues of inequality, or evidence of your leadership among such groups.” This is apparently part of the general Berkeley graduate school application; i.e., it’s not just for political departments like social work. So if you want to be a graduate researcher on, say, the biology of sponges, you have to explain how your research focuses on underserved populations. (I suppose sponges don’t get nearly enough attention.) If this question isn’t a political loyalty oath I don’t know what would be. I hope NAS will look into this and see if it indeed is a required part of every Berkeley graduate application in every subject.

I did look up the Berkeley application for graduate admission, and the cited question is indeed part of the general app (see page 29). It is, as the commenter points out, a political litmus test, and it sounds very much like Virginia Tech's College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences requirement that faculty members prove their service to "diversity" as a condition for promotion and tenure. It's also interesting that the question is phrased in terms of "barriers to access in higher education," when the very question itself is posing a barrier to Berkeley admission for those who do not pledge their allegiance to political correctness.

The "Diversity Religion" at Virginia Tech

George Leef

In this week's Pope Center Clarion Call, Carey Stronach, president of the Virginia Association of Scholars, explains why the crusade for "diversity" by the administration at Virginia Tech is unacceptable to scholars. Academic promotion should no more depend on "diversity accomplishments" than on "religious accomplishments" or "chess accomplishments" or "gardening accomplishments." If the administrators can't see that by "privileging" (to use a favorite leftist term) the diversity mindset over everything else they're undermining real academic work, they should be summarily dismissed.

The Push for Tobacco-Free Campuses

George Leef

Most schools now compel students and personnel who desire to smoke to do so in designated outside areas, but that isn't enough for a group that wants a complete tobacco ban. Inside Higher Ed has the story. This ought to worry the "diversity" advocates. Smokers are a minority group with some distinct cultural traits. If colleges drive smokers away, as the proposed campus-wide bans would tend to do, won't that deprive other students of the opportunity to learn about them and benefit from the perspective they'd bring to class discussions involving personal freedom and trade-offs? Or do those concerns only apply to certain groups and not others?

"What Story Could I Tell to Prove My Worth?"

Ashley Thorne

Over at NAS.org I have an article, "The Dark Side of Diversity," about how the diversity movement punishes even its supporters. Melissa Hart, writing for the Chronicle of Higher Education, told how she got lost in the diversity craze when she went to college at UC-Santa Cruz. She wrote:

I saw that the Vietnamese students' stories of emigrating to the United States, and the African students' tales of colorful culture back home, caused our professor to sit up straight and stroke his goatee with pleasure, while my own stories of innocent girls enlightened by wise transients on the Mall in downtown Santa Cruz caused him to invoke lethal adjectives such as "sentimental" and "pathetic." Being white and straight, I felt doubly cursed with a dearth of fascinating material.

It seems that Hart would realize that her dreams of multicultural mingling weren’t coming true—and that it was the fault of multiculturalism itself. Yet she didn’t get it. Instead, she bought into the doctrine even further, believing that she was indeed ordinary and invisible.

The Dark Side of Diversity

Ashley Thorne

"Being white and straight, I felt doubly cursed with a dearth of fascinating material. What story could I tell to prove my worth?" One woman's college experience provides a glimpse at how the diversity movement punishes even its supporters.

Will Layoffs Be Based on Diversity?

Jonathan Bean

In recent weeks, the USA Today and National Public Radio have crowed that this recession is different: most of  those losing jobs were men (and predominantly white). This is "encouraging" according to these news outlets. Why is it good? Because a majority of the workforce is now made up of women; and blacks have not been hurt as much as whites (the media seem to have forgotten about Asians and Hispanics but what else is new?). This is an advance in gender, if not racial, diversity. Whooo. One wonders how those women married to unemployed men think about their gender's "advance." Is this recession different? We won't know until later but with "diversity accomplishments" now part of our academic job descriptions, there is reason to think that we may be evaluated accordingly when (or if) layoffs occur. After all, what better way to "diversify" the faculty than to adopt the slogan:

"First thing we do, fire all the white males!"

Employers are fearful of employment-related lawsuits and this is the first recession to seriously threaten academic jobs since 1982. The Diversity Machine has grown enormously since 1982, when it was only a glimmer in the eyes of campus social engineers. Today it is an industry that influences accreditation bodies, professional associations, and university practices (think of the money set aside for "diversity hires"). If universities can make diversity hires, why not make the same decision when firing people? Time to dust off your computer screen and search for labor relations law in your state. Those of us with unions ought to contact them too if the proverbial four-letter word "hits the fan."

Kissel's Op-Ed on VT Faculty Litmus Test

Ashley Thorne

Adam Kissel, director of FIRE's Individual Rights Defense Program, has an excellent op-ed in the Virginia Tech student newspaper Collegiate Times, arguing that "the university often crosses the line when it coerces faculty members to conform to the university's 'diversity' mission." Kissel is referring to a Virginia Tech policy which NAS exposed this spring, that requires faculty members to prove their commitment to "diversity" to keep their positions and for promotion. This policy is plainly political and geared toward weeding out faculty members that dissent from the politically correct norm. Kissel explains that "the Diversity Committee of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences has invested the term 'diversity' with a specific, ideological meaning that binds the academic freedom and conscience of faculty members." The Diversity Committee defines diversity as:

acknowledging and respecting that socially constructed differences based on certain characteristics exist within systems of power that create and sustain inequality, hierarchy, and privilege.

Because it has an ideological meaning, therefore, "involvement in diversity initiatives" does not belong in a university policy as a requirement for faculty promotion and tenure. Since uncovering the policy this spring, NAS and FIRE have gathered documentation, written letters to the university, and responded firmly to Virginia Tech's weak defenses of its litmus test. Kissel's op-ed invoking freedom of conscience is the newest of our efforts to urge Virginia Tech to revise its policy and allow professors to choose their own personal values.

What Really Matters in Higher Ed

Ashley Thorne

This week the Chronicle of Higher Education has a special section on “Diversity in Academe.” One article featured there, “Diversity Takes a Hit During Tough Times,” (subscription required) examines how the economic downturn has forced colleges to evaluate their priorities. Colleges are asking, “Is a large diversity program really necessary for our institution?” Richard Vedder, of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, doesn’t think so:

Richard K. Vedder, an economist at Ohio University who also directs the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, says it has become "faddish" for universities to boast about their commitment to minority students by pointing to the size of their diversity offices. "The question is, at a university with 20,000 students, can you do the job with three to five people, or do you really need 25 to 35?" he asks. Mr. Vedder sees most diversity jobs as a bull-market luxury—and believes they should be scaled back, along with intercollegiate athletics, to protect core teaching and research operations during hard times. 

Nevertheless, universities are scrambling to salvage their diversity departments, however superfluous, and one professor says this is a time of testing: “The next few years will show whether a university's commitment to diversity is real or whether it's something that is done just for the rhetoric.”  Clearly this is the upside of the recession, giving colleges an opportunity to examine what’s really important in higher education – not race, identity groups, or political correctness brownie points, but simply, higher education. As the dean of St. Lawrence U puts it, “If you don't have the basic curriculum, and you don't have the faculty and you're not paying them, then all of the other programs in the world don't matter one bit.”

Leach's Big Reach

Ashley Thorne

Jim Leach, the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, wants to correct Americans' "disrespectful" attitude towards Muslim culture by giving the NEH a new theme: "Bridging Cultures." He is also annoyed at culture warriors and excitable people at town halls. NEH seems next on the list of government agencies to be politicized. Peter Wood wrote about this in an NAS.org article, "Politicizing the NEH." An excerpt:

NEH Chairman Jim Leach, speaking at the Carnegie Corporation of New York on September 29, described his plan for the humanities to help change “the temper and the integrity of the political dialogue” in the United States in a manner that sends, “an implicit message to Muslims in our country and in other parts of the world that we deeply value the contributions of their diverse and fascinating cultures.”  The speech, titled “Bridging Cultures:  NEH and the Muslim World,” is posted on the NEH website.  Leach’s remarks are surprising on several counts. In tone, they depart from NEH tradition, which has generally celebrated American cultural achievement rather than castigate Americans for their failings. In substance, his speech amounts to an indictment without any evidence.  American culture is not awash in “disrespect” for Muslim cultural contributions. A case could be made for the exact opposite: schools, colleges, museums, and other cultural institutions have been going way out of their multicultural way to point out the glories of Muslim civilization for the last decade.

  Power Line Blogs picked up on the story in "Jim Leach's Bridge to Nowhere."

Diversity's Doom & Pluralism's Plans

Ashley Thorne

A new book, The Politically Correct University, features chapters by NAS's president Peter Wood and NAS chairman Steve Balch.

Student Gov Officers Appointed by Race at UMass

Ashley Thorne

Alana Goodman, a student at the University of Massachusetts, has published an excellent article, "Institutionalized Racism in Student Government," in the Collegian, the schoool's student newspaper. Here's an excerpt:

As we prepare to swear in our elected representatives to the SGA Senate next week, UMass students should be aware that 13 percent of our SGA Senators will not have even competed in Tuesday’s elections. Instead, they will be appointed to their positions before the election results even come in, solely on the basis of skin color. This portion of the Senate is appointed by a registered student organization (RSO) called the African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American (ALANA) Caucus (no relation to this columnist). Only minority students who fit one of those four racial categories– or other students who the Caucus approves as “minority allies”– are considered eligible for these Senate seats. [...] This practice has been going on for years, and in addition to its sleaziness it’s also illegal.

Inadequate and Superfluous

Ashley Thorne

A Princeton professor feels too white to talk about diversity.

Welcome Freshmen!

Peter Wood

What you won't learn in freshmen orientation.

Selling Merit Down the River

Russell K. Nieli

NAS presents a major review essay on the third "River" book supporting racial preferences.

The Race Isn't Over

Ashley Thorne

Complying with federal regulations, Virginia Tech calls on students to identify their race and ethnicity.

Clash of Symbols

Ashley Thorne

Elsa Murano, the first Latina president of Texas A&M University, has resigned. Some lament the loss of the institution's "symbol" of diversity.

The Paradox of Constitutional and Post-1965 Civil Rights

George Seaver

The Jeffersonian ideal clashes with the new concept of civil rights based on the diversity doctrine, "All groups are inherently different."

Virginia Tech Follies, Synergy Edition

Peter Wood

VT gives three new reasons as to why it has made the promotion of

Virginia Tech Follies, Roanoke Edition

Peter Wood

The Lost Colony caricatures both NAS and "diversity."

Holding VT Accountable: Virginia Association of Scholars Writes Again

Carey Stronach

NAS's Virginia affiliate writes a second letter to Virginia Tech president Charles Steger, asking him to rethink his position on "inclusive excellence."

Facilitating Name Inflation At Old Dominion

Ashley Thorne

A Virginia public university's diversity office regroups.

Virginia Tech's "Inclusive" Rodomontade

Peter Wood

VT embraces exclusive mediocrity...and calls it inclusive excellence.

Virginia Tech, Round 2:Staging Diversity

Peter Wood

Two weeks after Virginia Tech announced it was dropping its diversity litmus test for faculty members, an ambitious dean plots to bring it back.

Affirmative Spoils

Peter Wood

Is affirmative action today mainly about equal opportunity, equal results, or neither?

Millennium Falcon: The Bias Birds of Prey

Ashley Thorne

The University of Arizona's Millennial Student Project targets "unconscious bias."

Caltech Competes

Peter Wood

The California Institute of Technology wants to retain its high academic standards, but it is also trying desperately hard to get on the diversity bandwagon.

Free to Agree, Update

Peter Wood

A reprint of the article in which NAS broke the story about Virginia Tech's diversity policy. This article was originally published March 17, 2009. Following its publication, we published a follow-up piece ("Suitable for Framing") and a three-part series on "Virginia Tech, Academic Freedom, and Employment Law."

Virginia Tech, Academic Freedom, and Employment Law: Part 3

Tom Wood

In the third and final part of this series, Tom Wood examines the many non-legal objections to Virginia Tech

"The Only Work I Can Get Here Involves Diversity Programs"

Margaret Matthews

"There I was, just one person sitting there, but she was seeing a group." An administrator longs to escape the racial labeling that characterizes her department.

Lies in California

Ashley Thorne

John Ellis uncovers the deceptions propagated by UC Berkeley's race-obsessed chancellor.

Letter to VT from Virginia Association of Scholars

Carey Stronach

A letter from NAS's Virginia affiliate to Virginia Tech President Charles Steger urging the university "to abandon its requirement that, in order to prosper, faculty must demonstrate attachment to the doctrine of diversity."

Friday Freeze-Frames

Ashley Thorne

Ward Churchill verdict, UC Berkeley chancellor calls percentage decrease in Caucasian males "a triumph," Why students love college, and Compliments guys at Purdue

Suitable for Framing

Ashley Thorne

FIRE, student paper, CHE, and John K. Wilson weigh in on Virginia Tech diversity requirements for promotion and tenure.

Grinding Out Researchers

Peter Wood

Is "Research for America" a good idea?

Friday Frogs Legs

Ashley Thorne

DiversityInc ratings, Residence life video, Affirmative action in California, Students "feel empty" and look to Great Books, Peter Wood in Inside Higher Ed, Is the internet stupefying students?, Letter to Obama: lose "achievement" and "rigor," Best surfing colleges

Free to Agree

Peter Wood

"Gender Identity" Restrooms at U Arizona

Catherine Pavlich

It doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman; campus restrooms at UA are categorized by self-image and behavior.

More Researchers Try to Measure Diversity's Effects

Ashley Thorne

They find that grouping students by race deepens a sense of victimization.

Canada Gets It Right

Ashley Thorne

Queen's College terminated its Intergroup Dialogue program when it was found to invite conversation-policing.

Sustainability is the New Diversity

Peter Wood

Except worse.

Unworldly Diversity

Russell K. Nieli

A review of the book, The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies. This article appeared in the "Liberal Education and the Family" issue of Academic Questions (volume 22, number 1).

Champlain Ethics

Peter Wood

How the University of Vermont waters down character education

Rescue: The New Captivity of Hans Staden

Peter Wood

A centuries-old tale of life among native cannibals can't be allowed to stand as a captivating narrative. It must be sanitized in one way or another by PC revisionists.

Send Me In, COACHE!

Peter Wood

Dreary and discontented faculty members won't keep us away from playing in the snow.

Stop the Hate and Celebrate: The University of Arizona Purges

Peter Wood

After a controversial comic was published in the student newspaper, the campus will "regroup."

My Degree in Diversity

Ashley Thorne

I just completed an online course on how to lead diversity education workshops. Guess what I learned?

Election 2008: The University's Long Shadow

Peter Wood


Peter Wood

The endless injunction in schools and colleges to

NAS to APA: Stop Digging

Peter Wood

The APA proposes changes to its accreditation requirements on diversity - and digs itself further into the hole of double standards.

Monotone Lullabies

Ashley Thorne

What to make of a university that appears an island of relative sanity?

Dizzy Diversity

Ashley Thorne

Today NAS completes its serializing of Getting Under the Skin of "Diversity" by Larry Purdy. Purdy, one of the lawyers who represented Jennifer Gratz and Barbara Grutter in the U.S. Supreme Court cases Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, takes us inside an upside down house of racial preferences.

The Diverse University: The Victory of the Adjective Over the Noun?

Tom Martin

NAS member Tom Martin ponders, "What does it mean to be 'committed to a diverse university community'?"

Some Social Science that Fails to Score

Steve Balch

NAS president Steve Balch finds that a new study supposedly challenging prevalent assumptions about political correctness isn't all it's hyped up to be.

Virtuoso Violinists Beware Texas

Peter Wood

Texas, in the quest for diversity, tries to balance affirmative action and the top ten percent rule in college admissions.

10. Just Say No to Racial Preferences

Tom Wood

Tom Wood asks the relevant question about racial preferences and contextualizes diversity research at the time of the Gratz and Grutter cases.

6. Who Educates the Whole Person These Days? Anyone? (Res Life and the Decline of Campus Community, Part 2)

Tom Wood

Our recent posting, "Residence Life and the Decline of Campus Community, Part 1," aimed to place Res Life programs within the wider context of the contemporary American college and university, and in particular to highlight the central role Res Life programs have been given in the creation of "campus community."

2. Psychotherapeutic Interventions, Transformative Learning, and the Dorms of U Delaware

Tom Wood

The ResLife program at the University of Delaware has received a great deal of well-deserved ridicule and opprobrium in recent weeks, but virtually all of the attention has been directed at the details of the radical views on race it promulgated. Little or no attention has been given to placing these details within the larger context of the concept of "education" that inspired and drove the program. This is unfortunate, because understanding the wider context of the ResLife program at Delaware is as important as the details.

Little Delawares All Over :Diversity Indoctrination, K-12 Branch

Hans Bader, a lawyer with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writes that the Delaware Indoctrination Syndrome has a k-12 counterpart. A common thread is the presence of what Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn in her 2001 book dubbed "race experts." In Delaware, it was Shakti Butler. As Mr. Bader points out, another expert, Glenn Singleton, is making a career of promoting similar themes in K-12 public schools. See Mr. Bader's postings at www.openmarket.org, e.g., November 16, 20, and 27, and December 3.

Little Delawares All Over: Diversity Indoctrination, K-12 Branch

Hans Bader, a lawyer with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writes that the Delaware Indoctrination Syndrome has a k-12 counterpart. A common thread is the presence of what Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn in her 2001 book dubbed "race experts." In Delaware, it was Shakti Butler. As Mr. Bader points out, another expert, Glenn Singleton, is making a career of promoting similar themes in K-12 public schools. See Mr. Bader's postings at www.openmarket.org, e.g., November 16, 20, and 27, and December 3.

How Many Delawares?

The National Association of Scholars announces an inquiry into residence hall and student life policies that violate intellectual freedom and promote a partisan political agenda.

1. Infestation: Widespread or Not?

The recent nationwide media exposure of the diversity facilitation training program of residence assistants at the University of Delaware demonstrates what a couple of professors -- in this case, professors Linda Gottfredson and Jan Blits, two NAS members who teach there -- and a relatively small group of activists can accomplish in revealing the extent to which political correctness and toxic racial ideology have infested some of today's campuses.

University of Delaware Residence Life Abuses Exposed

Our Delaware affiliate exposes the University of Delaware's residence life program, known on campus as "the treatment."

Startling Revelations: The National Association of Scholars Salutes Its Delaware Affiliate for Its R

Our Delaware affiliate exposes the University of Delaware's residence life program, known on campus as "the treatment."

Tolerance, Diversity, Respect OR ELSE "Bias Reporting Teams" at William & Mary

It seems that you had better be very very careful of what you say and to whom you say it at the College of William and Mary, where the administration has recently instituted a new "Bias Reporting Team," complete with its own web page. Among the features of this newest academic venture in promoting "tolerance," "diversity," and "respect" on campus is an Orwellian system of anonymous accusation and secret investigations, the maintenance of elaborate data bases, and an extensive administrative mechanism, in which the college president will be directly involved. Although "Bias" is very briefly and vaguely defined, there is an exhaustive elaboration of the ways in which it can be reported to the "Bias Team." Anyone uncertain as to whether an incident constitutes "bias" is strongly encouraged to inform the "team," which will then determine if it's the real thing. The "bias" web page doesn't seem to provide for instances of fraudulent, frivolous, or malicious allegations, and the rights of anyone accused aren't elaborated either. Although a small disclaimer declares, "William and Mary values freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas," we aren't at all reassured.

U.S. Commission: "Little Evidence" Diversity Improves Student Performance

The United States Commission on Civil Rights has just issued a major report, The Benefits of Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Elementary and Secondary Education. (Available in PDF here.) The Commission reached a startling conclusion: "there is little evidence that racial and ethnic diversity in elementary and secondary schools results in significant improvement in academic performance."

Student Investigates Social Work at Syracuse

Caroline Mojonnier, a student at Syracuse University, was moved by the NAS report to pursue some investigative journalism. She attended a session of SWK 326, "Persons in Social Contexts," a course in Syracuse University's School of Social Work, and spoke to the instructor afterwards. Her account in the student paper, The Daily Orange, - along with desipient comments by umbrage-taking classmates - can be read here.

The Scandal of Social Work Education

Barry Latzer

A study of politicization in social work education.

Social Work’s Sins Against Conscience

Steve Balch

University social work programs rarely attract outside attention. They subsist deep down in the bowels of their host institutions, generating a decent cash flow but little in the way of intellectual excitement. They do, however, have one dubious distinction. Like no other academic program, they are politicized throughout their warp and woof. Sociology, anthropology, even education could, if fully liberated from tendentiousness, still survive as fields. It’s questionable whether this is true of social work. Launched in the spirit of progressivism, its doxology has by now absorbed almost every mental reflex of the left.