After years of left-wing activists pushing racially divisive philosophies under the guise of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” in higher education, a recent case study of the University of Texas at Austin exposes DEI initiatives’ toxicity.
In a report last week, aptly titled “Comprehensive Restructuring,” the National Association of Scholars revealed that the push for so-called DEI at UT Austin has fundamentally restructured the school. With a “clear ideological agenda,” DEI initiatives “call for a vast overhaul of curriculum and instruction” that includes growing the bureaucratic behemoth and making Marxist groupthink a faculty job requirement.
“To many, the term ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ might sound like a benign commitment to fairness,” wrote John Sailer, the author of the report. “The DEI initiatives at UT Austin, however, frequently espouse controversial political and social views, whether through mandatory training sessions, book groups and administrator-endorsed reading lists, or curriculum guidelines.”
Sailer observed how “bureaucratic language” distracts observers from the reality of UT Austin’s DEI rot, which is ironically anything but diverse, equitable, or inclusive. The report found that when you strip away the fancy buzzwords, academia’s obsession with skin color, sex, sexual attraction, and commitment to the left-wing hivemind have affected all areas of campus life and fields of study, summed up by curricula and faculty.
Consider the curriculum at the Dell Medical School. In the summer of 2021, UT Austin added “Health Equity” to the list of core competencies at its med school. More specifically, according to UT Austin, medical students must:
Demonstrate an understanding of the root causes of health inequities including how the socialization of dominant cultural norms, beliefs and values and application of public policy create these health inequities among defined populations.
The medical school also requires its students to participate in “intentional disruptive action” to “act against and educate on systems that perpetuate health injustice and health inequities.”
The effects of DEI in medical school are already being felt in real-world hospitals. For instance, so-called “health equity,” which is rooted in critical race theory, means implementing intentional racial discrimination in health care. Under Oregon’s Medicaid, for example, which invokes the same ideas of “disrupting” as UT Austin’s med school, your medical care can be affected by the color of your skin. Marxist ideas not rooted in science have also corrupted prestigious medical journals.
And that’s just the medical school. Many of UT Austin’s 13 schools have overhauled their curricula to fit the anti-science and race-obsessed dictates of DEI.
More of UT Austin’s leftward lurch has been accomplished by pressuring faculty to accommodate, a pattern that has repeated itself across universities nationwide. “The DEI initiatives also call for various required training sessions,” Sailer writes, “some for students and even more for faculty.”
For instance, First-Year Interest Groups (FIGs), which help students acclimate to life on campus, must “spend a certain portion of their meetings discussing DEI content.”
The systemic left-wing groupthink is now a “guiding principle throughout the hiring process,” writes Sailer, “one which is now valued on par with teaching and research.” And existing faculty members who disagree face insurmountable opposition to their career advancement. “Increasingly, faculty at UT Austin must demonstrate an enthusiastic and sustained commitment to DEI in order to maintain good standing.” Sailer observes:
Many job applicants at UT Austin must now expound upon their past and planned contributions to DEI through a diversity statement. In practice, this requirement inevitably functions as a test of political or ideological allegiance. Worse, reviewers for the promotion or tenure of existing faculty must explicitly consider efforts related to the promotion of DEI — ensuring that the skeptical professors remain silent or pay the cost.
DEI initiatives that saturate education purport to reduce alleged racism, yet, as The Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher wrote last month: “[N]ationwide, school officials reported a ‘record number’ of discrimination complaints last year. How can this be? In truth, studies show that DEI offices accomplish little more than producing a lot of bureaucratic sound and fury on the taxpayers’ dime.”
The refrain of the National Association of Scholars’ study is don’t be fooled by the rhetoric; DEI is poison, and it requires immediate action. “For those concerned about the future of higher education,” Sailer concludes, “the rolling revolution at UT Austin cannot be ignored.”