For a university to serve the community, produce new knowledge and educate its students, faculty cannot be afraid to speak freely.
For a university to provide a place where knowledge and ideas are freely shared and debated, faculty must be protected from outside political pressure, and diversity of opinion must be protected for both faculty and students.
As I will describe below, there are serious threats to the diversity and freedom of faculty at the University of Washington. The threats are reminiscent of the oaths of allegiance in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Subtle and overt pressure is applied against faculty members with “wrong views”, with University faculty members increasingly pushed towards a monopoly on political correctness.
This is not just a teacher problem. It will affect which students are admitted to UW and the type of education they receive.
Should All University Faculties Actively Support the Diversity/Equality/Inclusion Agenda?
Over the next few weeks, University of Washington faculty members will be voting on a requirement that requires a statement of specific action to support the diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda. DEI).
This proposed new mandatory statement would be outside The current requirement is that faculty demonstrate progress in teaching, research, and public service. The faculty code clearly states that contributions to diversity and equality of opportunity may be cited to aid promotion; it’s just not
Set up DEI request is all the rage right now among the major coastal colleges, especially those in the blue-leaning states. It is highly political, with strong support among many progressives, but less support among those with more moderate views.
An important issue is the term “fair”, which DEI advocates often take to mean equal outcomes for all groups in society. In contrast, a more moderate, traditional view often promotes equality of all individuals, with each being given equal rights and opportunities, but with no guarantee of success. In a “equality” university, incentives are often reserved for specific groups, such as enrolling students or providing special support and assistance to certain “underrepresented” populations. ” certain.
that all faculty members support a social/political agenda favored by a section of society, which not only politicizes the university but also gives “compulsory speech”, in violation of the first act of the United States Constitution. It is probably illegal.
But the situation at UW is even worse than that. There is no guideline as to which DEI activities would represent acceptable faculty progress: the decision is left to individual departments or units on campus. This pushes the door of potential abuse wide open.
Although most faculty members simply want to continue with their research, teaching, and service careers, there are a small number of faculty members and university administrators who are promoting their departments and universities. carry out a progressive, politicized, activism agenda. These individuals, many of whom are idealistic and well-meaning, aspire to create the world towards of them
vision of social justice. And in their self-righteous worldview, it is entirely appropriate to suppress the views of others, weed out the “nonbelievers” and block those with different political views.
They like to talk about diversity, but their diversity is narrow and includes only individuals with similar beliefs or members of favored groups. And I note that there is no definition of what diversity and inclusion mean in the new faculty requirements, again leaving the possibility of abuse.
Washington State is very diverse in the views of its people. This map shows the party’s ballots in the recent presidential election (Democrats in blue, Republicans in red).
Serious threat to the freedom and diversity of faculty at the University of Washington
There is no overall guideline on the mandatory DEI requirement for faculty promotion, faculty ideologies, chair acquisition or other influential positions within a faculty, which may require faculty members to Other members “kneel” to their political or social agendas by identifying DEI requirements for promotion that align with their views. This is extremely dangerous and worrying.
Is this a theoretical threat? No sewing. Some lecturers support politicizing actions are working to punish and suppress those who disagree with them — and this serves as a stark warning of what could happen if the mandatory DEI declaration is passed.
For example, over the past few weeks, a faculty DEI advocate in a STEM department has pushed to find an “unworthy” junior colleague for a raise because a junior faculty member opposes the initiative. DEI mentioned above. Fortunately, other subject teachers came to their defense of free speech.
Or consider the case of faculty lists operated by the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). AAUP listserv, which is the largest online discussion platform for faculty (distributed among thousands of trainers and administrators), is moderated by two left-hand faculty to facilitate reflective messages their viewpoint; they regularly reject messages from people who don’t subscribe to their ideas. In the case of this DEI request, the AAUP moderator rejected numerous statements from faculty members criticizing the DEI plan, including mine. For example, AAUP moderator Amy Hagopian (who is running for new faculty regent), offered this rationale when she rejected my message criticizing the imperative statement:
“Our concern remains with spending time with those who appear hostile to the university’s efforts to amplify diversity, equity, and inclusion. “
A transparent attempt to prevent diversity of opinion from her own.
There was a time when AAUP fearlessly defended faculty freedom and expression, such as its heroic efforts to combat the oaths of allegiance of the 1950s. Not anymore. . Attracted by a team committed to a certain political brand, AAUP now curtails freedom of expression while promoting a politicized agenda.
BILLIONHis oaths of academic allegiance in the 1950s were erroneous.
Mandatory politicized DEI certification is equally wrong in 2022.
I could provide more disturbing examples of efforts by faculty political activists to publicly shame or attack faculty members who differ from each other (including what happened). out with me when I don’t support the 1631 initiative). Members of my department and others have told me they are afraid to express their opinions on social issues, and both graduate and undergraduate students say the same. .
Discomfit at the top
It is clear that the UW administration is worried about this DEI request. UW President Ana Mari Cauce, has demonstrated her willingness to take tough decisions to protect freedom of expression, and her statement to the University of Washington faculty’s Senate clearly articulated her concerns about the proposed law. President Cauce’s family was forced to leave a communist country, and like much of her history, she is fiercely protective of essential democratic freedoms. But in this case, she is powerless if the faculty votes to put into political shackles.
What can you do?
The threats to faculty freedom of expression and diversity of opinion stemming from a proposed faculty DEI request are clear. Asking faculty to agree with and support a particular ideological point of view is not only illegal, but it also degrades the university in profound ways.
It will certainly profoundly change the attitudes of the teaching staff in the long run. Would a prospective faculty member who values freedom of expression and diversity of opinion really want to go to the University of Washington? The changes have already begun but will accelerate if the measure is passed.
The University of Washington must serve all citizens of the State, of all backgrounds and political views. Prospective students should know that their admission to UW will not depend on race, religion, sexual orientation, national or political background, but on ability and efforts in the process. their past. They should know that they will be guided by instructors who welcome different points of view.
You should care, regardless of your political leanings.
So how can you help?
If you are a faculty member, please vote against the proposal.
If you know a faculty member, talk to them about it.
If you are a UW sponsor or supporter, feel free to state your views in any way you see fit.