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The ever-growing ‘diversity industry’ is overtaking higher education

Writing for RealClearInvestigations, Richard Bernstein points out that the recent “Common Language Guide” released and then quickly rescinded by Amherst College didn’t come out of thin air.

The 40-page glossary of terms published by its Office of Diversity and Inclusion took two years to develop even though it only lived publicly for a couple hours before it was revoked amid steep criticism, Bernstein reported.

It’s a microcosm of a larger issue, the ever-growing “diversity industry” overtaking higher education, he writes:

The Amherst ODI’s definitions, after all, didn’t come from nowhere. They arose from what critics of it call the “diversity industry,” the burgeoning number of college ODIs that are now as commonly accepted, and taken for granted, on campus as the admissions office or the football team.

The conservative City Journal in a study last year found, for example, that the University of Michigan has 100 full-time diversity officers; UC-Berkeley, 175.

Moreover, as some studies have shown, university administrators tend to be more ideologically uniform (that is to say, more “liberal” or “progressive”) even than faculties—by a ratio of roughly 12-to-1, liberals over conservatives. There do not appear to be any surveys of ODIs alone, but they would seem to fit the pattern, and that’s probably almost inevitable, given that people with conservative ideas, or evangelical Christians, or anti-abortion feminists, seem unlikely to want be college diversity officers

The diversity bureaucracy has its own publication, The Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, which, its website says, “offers insights into theory and research that can help guide the efforts of institutions of higher education in the pursuit of inclusive excellence,” a term that critics say sounds unobjectionable, but actually means giving preference to women and minorities over white men in hiring, rather than simply hiring the best person for the job.

There’s also a professional association, The National Association of Diversity Officers, whose annual conference in March this year was devoted to the topic “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Imperatives of the 21st Century.” Workshops were on subjects like “The Neuroscience of Social Justice” and “So You Want to be a Chief Diversity Officer?”

The website of Amherst’s ODI lists 20 staff members, including Norm J. Jones, the chief diversity and inclusion officer, a “director of inclusive leadership” two “faculty diversity and inclusion members,” an “associate dean for diversity and inclusion,” the director of the Women’s and Gender Center, the director of the Queer Resource Center, the director of the Multiculturalism Resource Center, a specialist for “race education and programs,” a “dialogue coordinator,” and a “dialogue facilitator,” this last person teaching a course called “Learning and Teaching With Feminism in Mind.”

Read the full article.

MORE: College diversity office releases 40-page speech code

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