Institutions of higher learning across the nation are facing the biggest crisis of their existence after losing their whole spring and summer semesters to the coronavirus crisis and lockdowns, and now still with lingering questions over whether campuses will even open in the fall.
Colleges are stuck in financial limbo and survival at a moment that key staffing, faculty contracts, student recruiting, tuition and donor revenue-related decisions are in many cases still up in the air for next year, also as controversy erupts over refusal to refund student housing and campus activity fees. And now there's a wave of class-action lawsuits, which includes at least 125 private and public universities named as defendants in some 175 pending lawsuits across the nation, led by angry students and their families seeking refunds amid campus closures and mandated sub-par online courses.
But facing the very question of whether schools will even be able to keep their doors open, guess what the newest urgent driving concern is?
Mandated diversity training among all faculty, staff, and students — including workshops on 'White privilege' wherein people are told they are racist by the mere fact of their existence is apparently tops the agenda.
That's right, at a moment mounting debt woes brought on by campus closures is threatening the very existence of the 600 billion dollar higher education industry, schools are spending "extra" in order to bring 'woke' diversity specialists and workshops to their campuses for the upcoming semesters.
As a case in point, a professor from a college in the southern Appalachian mountain region penned the following in response to the trend, as related by The American Conservative's Rod Dreher:
One proposal, made without irony, was to invite the community to campus to tell them how their whiteness makes them privileged and also racist. Mercifully, sanity reigned and the proposal foundered on the rocks of “we don’t think poor white people from Appalachia will be persuaded, and will likely resent being told their lives are somehow privileged.” But it won’t stop.
The professor relates how the community of faculty and students at a school in one of the historically most impoverished regions of the country was going to be made to attend a workshop informing them of how "privileged" they all are.
Reproduced below is the illuminating and alarming letter, revealing the lengths colleges are willing to go to satisfy the PC mob at a moment their very financial survival is at stake.
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"I received this poignant letter from a reader, who signed it with their real name, and institutional affiliation," introduced columnist Rod Dreher.
The hour is later than you think.
I teach at a small liberal arts college in the southern Appalachian mountains. We serve primarily poor black, white, and brown kids. 65% of them are first generation college students (like me) and hail from some of the worst poverty anywhere in the country. We are enrollment driven, funding is always an issue, but I think we make a difference.
Instead of figuring out how we are going to deal with a second wave of coronavirus, or how to replace international students who shore up enrollment while getting to play sports they love (and enriching a fairly cornbread corner of America) and may not come back after the pandemic, or the myriad other problems big and small that plague us, we are putting together a “social justice initiative” whose purpose as yet remains vague.
A general call went out to everyone. If you join, you’ll be expected to trumpet a hard-Left reading of woke ideology. If you refuse… well “silence is violence.” One proposal, made without irony, was to invite the community to campus to tell them how their whiteness makes them privileged and also racist. Mercifully, sanity reigned and the proposal foundered on the rocks of “we don’t think poor white people from Appalachia will be persuaded, and will likely resent being told their lives are somehow privileged.” But it won’t stop.
If you just want to teach, scratch out a living and make a difference, hoping the furies will forget about you: you are wrong. I took this job on purpose, praying to bring something of the liberal arts to my own people. And just be left alone, and yet… here we are.
Feel free to share my story, if you like, but please do keep my name off the web. I still have to figure out how to stay true to my beliefs and pay my mortgage.
It seems that a day has indeed come when the courage of men failed, and we have forsaken our friends and broke all bonds of fellowship. You know what comes next? “An hour of wolves and shattered shields…” It is here.
Already many families are opting out of sending their recent high school graduates off to college as a potential second wave COVID-19 crisis looms. Many students are no doubt thinking it's a good time for a 'gap year'.
This is a trend likely to only grow, especially given the degree to which universities stop actually educating in Literature, History, Science, Business, Math, and the Classics - and instead focus on dubious and highly elastic concepts like "privilege" and "systemic racism".