Texas Bans DEI In Hiring
Texas Bans DEI In Hiring; Its Use Violates Federal and State Laws
DEI Policies In Hiring Violate Laws
WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 9, 2023) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott has just told state agencies - including state universities - to stop considering diversity in hiring.
In a formal legal memo written Monday, Abbott’s chief of staff Gardner Pate told agency leaders that using diversity, equity and inclusion [DEI] policies in hiring violates federal and state employment laws.
Pate said DEI initiatives illegally discriminate against certain demographic groups — though he did not specify which ones he was talking about.
“The innocuous sounding notion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has been manipulated to push policies that expressly favor some demographic groups to the detriment of others,” Pate wrote.
This presumably would put an end to the policies at Texas Tech University which were highlighted and criticized by public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
An Updated Form Of McCarthyism
DEI Returning McCarthy-Type Pledges and 1984's Newspeak to Campuses; Even Professors of Biology Must Sign Diversity Pledges, Speak Fluent Newspeak
WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 9, 2023) - DEI [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] appears to be forcing universities into an updated form of McCarthyism where professors must again sign loyalty pledges, and also learn and follow the dictates of Newspeak ["a purposefully ambiguous and confusing language with restricted grammar and limited vocabulary" used in the novel 1984].
Texas Tech University is a prime example of how this is happening, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
There its biology department not only requires candidates for a teaching position to submit a "diversity statement" pledgiing to conform with various dictates of DEI - which many claim connotes a set of highly contestable social and political views - but also says it will "strongly" weigh the precise wording of such pledges before hiring anyone, regardless of professional credentials or abilities
The new policy also requires prospective professors to be fully aware of the various nuances of its own form of Newspeak; for example, one was flagged for not being able to clearly explain the difference between "equality" and "equity."
Another candidate was penalized for engaging in Oldspeak ["any communication that is not Newspeak"] when he had the audacity to suggest that teaching should be race-neutral by saying "that DEI is not an issue [for him] because he respects his students and treats them equally.”
This, the search committee opined, indicates a "lack of understanding of equity and inclusion issues”; thereby presumably concluding that even suggesting that students should be treated equally without regard to their race is for some reason no longer acceptable.
An immunology candidate boosted her chances of being hired by engaging in Goodthink ["espousing ideas deemed acceptable by those in charge"] by demonstrating familiarity with terms and concepts such as “unconscious bias.”
A virologist helped improve her candidacy by taking a pledge to improve "diversity" by enforcing a code of conduct, preventing microaggressions, etc.
Still another also used Goodthink by discussing "land acknowledgment" with the hiring committee.
Interestingly, pursuing DEI can sometimes have adverse consequences.
As the Chronicle of Higher Education just reported in an article entitled "Yes, DEI Can Erode Academic Freedom. Let’s Not Pretend Otherwise," DEI consists of "trafficking in PR-driven wishful thinking" which combines elements of "management-consultant buzzwords, social justice slogans, and 'therapy speak,'" and is inconsistent with academic freedom and free speech.
As just one very recent example, Professor Banzhaf cites a situation at his own George Washington University.
There a professor is the subject of a federal civil rights complaint, and an investigation by the US Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, for allegedly engaging in "erasive antisemitism" by creating a "hostile environment for Jewish and Israeli students" - which allegedly occurred in her course named - of all things - "Diversity."
While few are refusing to accept that it is OK for universities to be diverse, include many different kinds of students, and strive for equality - or is it equity - many in academia are worried that this new movement is being carried to illogical extremes in some situations, but they are increasingly afraid of cancel culture.
Indeed, some of these instances might seem almost funny, expect that they can wreck professional careers and seriously undermine what has always been regarded as the primary goal of higher education - learning and teaching the truth, says Banzhaf.