Faculty diversity statements called threats to academic freedom by US organization

April 3, 2017

The “diversity statements” that many US colleges now require of applicants for faculty positions have been deemed “ideological litmus tests” by the Oregon affiliate of the National Association of Scholars. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the required statements are included in faculty hiring and promotion practices, and that they ask candidates for “statements discussing their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.” In a recent report, the National Association of Scholars chapter has called the statements “a direct threat to academic freedom and research excellence,” as well as “an ideological cudgel against scholars with alternative views.” University of Oregon Spokesperson Tobin Klinger, who was named in the report, has issued a statement that reads: “we understand that free speech and diversity essentially go hand in hand, as we strive to create an environment where all voices are respected and empowered to carry out their academic pursuits.” Chronicle