The time has come to eliminate the counterproductive title and job of Diversity Dean in universities. The army of deans and administrators in higher education already exact a huge tax on tuition payers. In truth, titles like this exist because Americans aren’t strong enough or informed enough demand that they don’t.
The Diversity Dean or Dean of Diversity as the individual is often known is a product of what my forthcoming book on higher education describes as structural liberalism. Structural liberalism is the collective culture, systems, rules, regulations, and practices that drive higher education costs and result in spiraling tuitions, dubious majors, a permanent class of employees, and a system designed to serve the tenured and administrative classes as they drive students into debt.
A key ingredient to the structural liberalism is the cultural or political liberalism the permeates higher education. That includes a society lost in the fever swamp of race-obsession and identity politics.
No institution needs a diversity dean.
Institutions of higher education quite literally should have no focus on the false and meaningless buzz term of diversity, particularly as institutions often apply it … which is as an unhealthy, unproductive, unconstitutional, and un-American pre-occupation with race, identity labels, and division.
It is hard to find a diversity dean who is a white male, but it is even harder to find a diversity dean whose primary focus is the diversity of opinion, rather than color, ethnicity, gender, or orientation.
A recent episode at the “Lewis and Clark” Law School demonstrates a host of social problems, not the least of which are spoiled, entitled, unqualified students in a dubious, revenue predatory institution trying to shout down free speech.
The speaker reports that as the childish protest continued, the diversity dean approached trying to get the speaker to wrap up, essentially acquiescing to the demands of those who didn’t want her to be heard.
Diversity Dean at Lewis & Clark was present.She approached podium in middle of my talk & asked me to wrap up my speech & take questions. I was never able to develop my argument.Shouldn’t the dean have insisted protesters allow me to finish, rather than cut speech short? https://t.co/1d43iDeo7P
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) March 5, 2018
It seems the diversity dean’s role is placating the “diverse” population and make them feel good.
Therein lies the problem with these roles. These students should have been removed from the room by a competent dean. The speech was a sponsored event at which the speaker was asked to attend, and numerous students and faculty came to hear, even if they disagreed.
If protestors didn’t leave, they should have been suspended. A law school is an excellent place for discussion, but only by the rational. Likewise, protesting may be a right, but disruption is not. This might have been an excellent time to teach law students about time, place, and manner restrictions on their tantrum rights.
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Instead, Deans like this one feed the cultural liberalism that suggests that students, in a law school, are too emotionally fragile to hear and be subjected to views with which they disagree. Lewis and Clark, an institution that charges over $43K per-year, has a Diversity Dean to sooth the hurt egos of a diverse population? Deans should be there to instruct on critical thinking, the sharing of ideas, diversity of opinion, and reasonable conclusions derived from a fact and reason-based system of analysis. They should not be there for hand-holding and emoting.
Universities don’t need diversity deans. They don’t need diversity based on any identity classification, and they should reject the call for such classifications.
If there is one place in this country where admission should be label-free, identity-free, and color blind, it is institutions of higher learning. They quite literally do not need to know your race, color, creed, gender, or orientation to make a judgment on your academic record and your ability to bring critical thinking, rather than emotion to a classroom.
To the extent these Deans are out recruiting based on diversity, it is wrong. To the extent they are there, as so many are, to be a counselor, mentor, or sounding board for “diverse” populations, they are restraining intellectualism. A campus must focus on investigation, analysis, critical thinking, and enlightenment born from reason. On too many campuses, these army of deans are playing wet-nurse on a battlefield driven by emotion and filled with populations that have a myopic obsession with race, gender, and orientation.
These Diversity Dean roles reflect our obsessed and weak culture of hand-holding and coddling that is destroying higher education by sending emotional basket-cases to institutions of higher learning. They learn nothing but how to get in touch with their feelings, check their privilege, and shout down thoughts they don’t like.
These Diversity Deans become the enablers to or advocates for these purportedly put-upon groups. The Deans, often a person of their color … or in some minority status … stand in to feel the students’ pain for them and protect them. It’s unhealthy and anti-academic.
Fire all the diversity deans.
Institutions of critical thought never needed them before, and they don’t need them now. In fact, Diversity Deans hinder higher education, and they are a true tax on the tuition bill of all who attend.
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is a trial Attorney and author of the new book on higher education, “Of Serfs and Lords: Why College Tuition is Creating a Debtor Class”
Rich is a former Assistant Law School Dean and Law Professor. At Mason Law Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP, drawing on his expertise as a former CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud.
Before returning to private practice, Rich taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation.
He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV. Rich has appeared on hundreds of stations as a legal expert or political commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL.
Rich also writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.