NeoMcCarthyism: University of California has a new ‘diversity’ political test for faculty hires and promotion

In 1950, the California Legislature created a McCarthyite Committee on Un-American Activities and enacted the Levering Act, requiring all state employees to sign “loyalty oaths” but specifically aimed at the University of California’s faculty. 31 tenured professors were fired for refusing to sign it.

In 1967, California’s Supreme Court voted 6-1 declaring the Levering Act to be unconstitutional.

Fast forward 52 years.

Now it is the Left who are engaged in the same McCarthyism that they decry. The unconstitutional Levering Act has returned in a new University of California (UC) policy requiring new faculty hires as well as applicants for promotion to pass a political test of the Left.

Dan Walters writes in CalMatters.org, July 30, 2019, that although UC’s Board of Regents officially declares that “No political test shall ever be considered in the appointment and promotion of any faculty member or employee,” a new UC policy is doing exactly that.

As part of its “commitment to diversity and excellence,” UC’s administrators are telling recruiters for faculty positions to take “pro-active steps to seek out candidates committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.” Applicants for new faculty employment and promotions must submit “diversity statements” that will be scored “with rubrics provided by Academic Affairs”. Only applicants who achieve a scoring cutoff will be be considered.

To illustrate, the academic affairs department at UC-Davis says that diversity statements from tenure-track faculty applicants should have “an accomplished track record…of teaching, research or service activities addressing the needs of African-American, Latino, Chicano, Hispanic and Native American students or communities.” Their statements must “indicate awareness” of those communities and “the negative consequences of underutilization” and “provide a clearly articulated vision” of how their work at UC-Davis would advance diversity policies.

Jeffrey Flier, former director of the Harvard Medical School, is among the respected academics who see the inherent contradictions and perils in UC’s new political litmus test. Flier wrote in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

As a supporter of the original goals of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, my skepticism toward this policy surprised a number of friends and colleagues. But it is entirely inappropriate to require diversity statements in the process of appointment and promotion. Such requirements risk introducing a political litmus test into faculty hiring and reviews.

It’s not unreasonable to be concerned that politically influenced attestations might begin to re-emerge in the current hyperpartisan political environment, either in response to politically driven demands for faculty to support populist or nationalist ideas, or from within the increasingly polarized academy itself. Since progressive/left identifications are dominant in the academy, especially in the humanities and social sciences (as well as in administration), politically influenced litmus tests could easily arise in that sphere.

Ironically, given its already overwhelmingly liberal faculty, University of California’s new “diversity” litmus test would only make the faculty even less ideologically diverse and more totalitarian.

H/t California Political Review

~Eowyn

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TrailDustDanDr. EowynWinston Smithcogitoergosumantra Recent comment authors
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YouKnowWho
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YouKnowWho

They should try gazing at something besides their belly button.

*She, Her,Mrs
Guest
*She, Her,Mrs

“Equity and diversity “=code for white conservative US born males need not apply

DCG
Admin

Add heterosexual to that list as well.

Kbworkman
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Kbworkman

Amazing that the left doesn’t like this type of filter unless they are the ones inflicting it on their political opponents.
But I will bet they don’t consider themselves to be the hypocrites we see them to be.
I would guess they consider themselves “enlightened”.

Ellis Washington
Guest

I am a blacklisted Black academic who for over 35 years have heard this Diversity disinformation. It’s all Leftist, Socialist Groupthink LIES writ large. So-called Conservative Scholarship have long ago given up the fight for temporary refuge inside “Think Tanks”, “Christian Colleges” or as staffers for Republican presidents… that’s about all of the scraps the lucky ones can get over the past 50 years. The hundreds of thousands of the rest of us are left without hope or help from anyone! For further readings see my following works and please feel free to share with others… particularly the youth so… Read more »

cogitoergosumantra
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cogitoergosumantra

Dang, and just when I was thinking of applying to teach there…

Winston Smith
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Winston Smith

Although I appreciate and agree with the majority of your sentiments, some of your implications are misleading. Your comments seems to conflate Joseph McCarthy with the House Un-American Activities Committee. (HUAC). This is incorrect, muddies the water, and misrepresents history. In addition, it unfairly tars McCarthy with actions he took no part in. The term MCarthyism is the embodiment of historical revisionism because it implies that McCarthy did the kinds of things the left incorrectly assigns to him. I’m not trying to be pedantic but conflating McCarthy and HUAC is something the left has done for years and it is… Read more »

Dan
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Dan

Thanks for making this clear.

TrailDust
Admin

My son, a white male, ran into this at an eastern college. It was far more awful than I had expected.