Commentary: Mandatory DEI Statements Are Ideological Pledges of Allegiance

April 03, 2024 1 min read

Randall Kennedy
Chronicle of Higher Education

Excerpt: On a posting for a position as an assistant professor in international and comparative education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, applicants are required to submit a CV, a cover letter, a research statement, three letters of reference, three or more writing samples, and a statement of teaching philosophy that includes a description of their “orientation toward diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.”

At Harvard and elsewhere, hiring for academic jobs increasingly requires these so-called diversity statements, which Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning describes as being “about your commitment to furthering EDIB within the context of institutions of higher education.” By requiring academics to profess — and flaunt — faith in DEI, the proliferation of diversity statements poses a profound challenge to academic freedom.

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