The woke left is incrementally destroying higher education in America and making a career in academia all but impossible for anyone who does not swear an anti-racism loyalty oath. It is not just the humanities or the social sciences that are being re-tooled to serve as propaganda mills for the wokesters, but higher education period.
And this is getting done in the shadows at the university level with little public input.
I won’t bore you, dear reader, with the convoluted history of the campaign to render Oregon State University little more than a site for mass indoctrination of students and a re-education camp for the few faculty members who have so far refused to sign away their consciences for the sake of their jobs. I will simply refer you to the Moving Forward Together website and quote from some of the items in its most recent progress update. There are some truly horrifying action items lurking in that PDF for anyone who cares about higher education and academic freedom.
And note: this is not an Oregon-only issue. As we have all learned to our cost in the case of assisted suicide, what happens in Oregon often presages pernicious happenings in the rest of the country.
Again, this campaign is being conducted at the university level even though this is a taxpayer-funded institution that should be subject to some oversight from those outside the university:
The President and Provost’s Leadership Council for Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice (PPLC) is a university-level advisory board whose mission is to support the advancement of Oregon State University’s highest ideals for equity, inclusion and social justice.
Nothing about excellence, scholarship or knowledge in that statement.
Here are some of the proposals from this cabal—and I don’t use that word lightly here. The PDF I am quoting from can be found here.
Okay, let’s start with how this unelected group, which is operating without any public input, wants to arrogate to itself how entire departments will be staffed henceforth.
Incorporate recruitment, development and retention practices recommended by the President and Provost’s Leadership Council on Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice into Oregon State’s Talent Management Plan, which articulates the university’s hiring and retention strategy.
Recommended practices include cluster hiring, expanded mentoring, comprehensive employee training and development.
Just an FYI: “cluster hiring” is a euphemism for stuffing a university with people recruited by people whom they know and agree with politically.
And guess what the “comprehensive employee training and development” will consist of—lots and lots of forced feeding of material about equity, inclusion and social justice. And if you balk at that, you will run afoul of the cabal’s “retention strategy.”
And of course, everyone loves this new system—according to the people who have designed it:
A new Human Resources Strategic Partner (HSRP) model will support the application of new talent management programs and approaches within colleges and units. Early experience with the first year of HRSP support has been positive as measured by client survey.
I mean, who would want to go on record as being against “anti-racism?”
The indoctrination is to start upon entry as an employee of the university—these thought control sessions are presented as “opportunities.” And note that the language is not the more anodyne “diversity” verbiage that is used here but the far more tendentious term “anti-racism,” which treats every white person as a white supremacist.
Expand faculty and staff training and professional development opportunities focused on anti-racism and ensure that the opportunities are embedded in comprehensive training, professional development, and faculty and staff onboarding that currently is in development.
And here is what the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) at Oregon State University has been busying itself with:
A pilot seminar, Confronting Systemic Whiteness, was co-hosted by OFA and Faculty Senate, in Summer 2020 and is planned to be offered again.
Oh, I see. Racism is not the problem. Whiteness itself is. It is a sort of disease, “systemic whiteness.”
And therein lies the threat to academics. You are not to be judged on your accomplishments as a chemist. Or your skill as a historian. Or your promise as a crop scientist. Or your talent in the classroom. Or your contributions to the fields of public health, sociology, literature and so on. No. You are to be hired on the basis of your attitude toward systemic whiteness. You are to be “trained” on that basis. Your career is to be developed on that basis. The decision on whether or not you will be retained will be made on that basis—and probably not by your peers in your department but by a committee designed to keep everyone in tune with the “highest ideals for equity, inclusion and social justice.”
Oh--and students--you will be taught solely by instructors who are judged on that basis.
“Oh, tush—you are being alarmist…” tut the apologists for the crushing of all dissent to the anti-racism agenda. Well, let me just quote a bit more from the PDF.
Here is a particularly creepy passage—it sounds like it was written by Stasi agents and basically suggests that faculty members set up a self-monitoring system lest they find themselves uttering sentiments that the wokesters find objectionable. Faculty can’t even be trusted, apparently, to design their own syllabi or determine what they will teach and must answer to a group of people who assume that every white person is a white supremacist:
Consider adopting in syllabi a statement directing students to support resources for bias incident response; embedding standards for inclusive and critical teaching practices in the new course approval process; and establishing systems of accountability for anti-racist education.
What could be more adversarial than that? If you are not alarmed by now, you are brain dead. Under this regime, you would not be allowed to teach a new course at all unless the wokesters approve. This like is like something out of Stalin’s Russia. It transforms students into hyper-vigilant Cultural Revolutionaries.
You could not make this stuff up—look at this passage and ask yourself, “Is this conducive to a productive educational environment?”
Charge a university task force composed of faculty, academic leaders and students to review and recommend changes to current curricular and co-curricular offerings to address diversity, racism and its origins and anti-racism.
This review will including those programs offered through: Ethnic Studies, the Difference, Power, and Discrimination Program, Student Experiences & Engagement, Diversity & Cultural Engagement, and Diversity Initiatives and Programs within University Housing and Dining Services, among others. This new task force will consider and advise on the following proposals: including an anti-racism requirement in the Baccalaureate Core; incorporating anti-racism education in graduate education; requiring that Difference, Power, and Discrimination courses be satisfied within a student’s academic home; establishing standards and shared responsibilities for anti-racism education; and mandating participation of instructors in Black Minds Matter training. Task members and stakeholders may suggest other matters for review.
This is basically handing over Oregon State University to the left. Undergraduates will have to pay for their own indoctrination. Graduate students will have to spend their time being indoctrinated. Instructors will have to sit and be berated about how racist they are. And all this is taxpayer-funded and with no public input. Coming soon to a university near you.
And again, if you think, “Well, this is just crazy stuff in the humanities. I am an engineer and I can just concentrate of my teaching.” Oh, no no no. You may not be deemed “appropriate”—see here:
Charge appropriate leaders to evaluate and develop recommendations regarding standards for adding inclusive and critical teaching practices within faculty position descriptions across disciplines and embedding evaluation of inclusive teaching practices in formal faculty review processes, including evaluations of teaching and annual review.
Let’s ponder that, shall we? Faculty are going to be treated as mere mouthpieces for woke propaganda and to be stripped of their autonomy as teachers and judged on the basis of their anti-racism performance. This is frightening stuff. If these standards are adopted at Oregon State University, they would become normalized and would obliterate professional standards in higher education and the moral character of those academics who cave into this sort of thing and would discourage people of integrity and ability from considering careers in academia.
And say you are not at all interested in what happens at the university itself. Say, you run a small business supplying food or light bulbs to one. You would not be safe from the tentacles of the wokesters:
Evaluate the alignment of Oregon State University's values with current expectations for contractors and vendors.
“Nice little business you got there. It had better get woke—or else.”
These proposals would upend the purpose of a public university, which is to provide a venue for non-ideological education provided by faculty members free from political pressure and enjoying the greatest amount of academic freedom commensurate with their self-respect as human beings and their mission as teachers and scholars.
It would, moreover, force everyone involved to spend time proving that they are not racist instead of advancing their fields, grading papers, developing world-beating technologies and engaging in other non-woke activities. All this that would be detrimental to education for everyone.
But if you agree with me on that, you are obviously a white supremacist.