Oct 23 2010

Diversity being displaced by sustainability?

Category: appeasementharmonicminer @ 12:38 pm

Peter Wood, to whom I have referred elsewhere on this blog, has an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education called From Diversity to Sustainability: How Campus Ideology Is Born


Diversity is a story of a once-fresh ideology that swept through higher education in a spirit of triumph but that quickly seems to be losing its status as the sexiest ideology on campus. Diversiphiles would like to keep the adrenaline flowing, but it is hard. Freshmen now arrive on campus already having sucked on multicultural milkshakes from kindergarten to senior prom. Diversity for them is just the same ol’ same ol’.

That doesn’t stop the diversicrat establishment from trying to pump new excitement into the project. California State University at Chico, for example, recently circulated a new “action plan” titled “To Form a More Inclusive Learning Community,” in which the university president sets his sights on placing “diversity at the core of our mission, vision, and priorities.” The practical goal is to get Chico State listed as an official “Hispanic-Serving Institution” by 2015, which requires substantially increasing Hispanic enrollment past the university’s current 13.5 percent. (Chico State serves mostly a local population in a part of the state with relatively few Hispanics. Hispanics are already “overrepresented” at Chico from a purely demographic standpoint.) The federal designation “Hispanic-Serving Institution” would bring access to additional federal support. But the diversity game is never about just numbers and dollars. It is also about ideology and intimidation, and Chico State is actively pursuing those, too. As part of the new campaign, it invited the “Diversity Guru” Lee Mun Wah to provide workshops including “Unlearning Racism in the Classroom.” Faculty members get the message: Openly expressed doubts about the diversity program will be treated as racist conduct.


Prof. Wood’s commentary is largely about how “sustainability” is gradually displacing some of the oxygen once reserved for “diversity” in the modern higher education establishment.  It is a great read (read it all here), and sets the table nicely for discussion about the true nature of both initiatives.  He calls them both “second wave” phenomena, in that “diversity” grew out of “affirmative action” (when official quotas fell out of public and legal favor, so some folks decided to sneak them in the back door under the name “diversity”) and “sustainability” grew out of “environmentalism” (when public skepticism about Earth Firsters, PETA, and EPA protection of exotic flies led to a need for a new label for the same agenda).

I wish this kind of thing was only going on at state or secular schools.  That is not the case, however.   At least one Christian university is giving a seminar for faculty about “mistakes white professors make in the classroom” or words to that effect.  And extremist videos are being shown in class on sustainability, full of unsupported and self-contradictory assertions.

Prof. Wood may be wrong on one point, however, regarding the apparent competition between sustainability and diversity as points of reference for academic/institutional programming and energy.  It is clear that the diversiphiles and sustainophiles are mostly the same people.  They have no trouble simply combining both agendas, with diversity class including sustainability propaganda without a blush.

The floor is open for speculation about what unites “diversity” and “sustainability” as leftist perspectives. 


One Response to “Diversity being displaced by sustainability?”

  1. innermore says:

    That’s easy. It’s all about equality, baby. Diversity: an equally distributed amount of all racial groups in each room (no minorities). Sustainability: an equal amount of sustenance delivered (box lunches) to each room, 3 times a day. We, including all life and matter on our planet, are now, ALL as equally happy as we can ever possibly be.

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