The Grand DEI Inquisitor
This is an excerpt from a communication that went out today to faculty of the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota:
This is outrageous. As the professor who sent this to me said, this is:
A clear violation of academic freedom. Imagine you’re untenured and don’t agree with the LGBTQIA+ movement, what do you do? If you don’t write anything, your chair and colleagues will notice. This may cost you tenure. On the other hand, you can write some b.s. made up stuff and violate your conscience. Either way, the university is on a fishing expedition to separate the woke sheep from the Catholic goats. Stunning stuff, really. Other school, of course, will follow, if they haven’t done it already.
This is the woke version of a loyalty oath. It’s a private university, so it can do whatever it likes. But should it do this? Seems to me that a Catholic university ought to pledge allegiance to what Pope St. John Paul II said in Ex corde ecclesiae, his instruction on the nature and duties of Catholic universities. If there are going to be loyalty oaths at Catholic institutions, let them be loyalty to what the Pope said Catholic universities should be like, not what the Woke Magisterium demands.
But why should there be DEI loyalty oaths at all? One presumes that every faculty member would be willing and able to treat each student he or she teaches with fairness. You cannot reasonably expect more. What the University of St. Thomas is doing is passive-aggressive and coercive. I hope that professors there who may be 100 percent in favor of diversity and inclusion initiatives will nevertheless speak out against this appalling coercion.
And I hope all University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) alumni and donors will contact the university and tell it they will be moving their donations to Catholic institutions, or other educational institutions, that don’t bully professors into swearing allegiance to wokeness. Once again, as Ross Douthat said the other day, the United States is full of rich people who could use their money to start new colleges and universities, ones that respected true scholarship and traditional learning, and rejected wokeness. But they don’t. Why not? If you are one of these rich Americans, what’s the answer? Why do you keep giving to Yale, Princeton, Harvard, the University of St. Thomas, and other colleges that are destroying education in America by subordinating it to ideology?
This is not going to go away until we make it go away. This is not going to go away until we value academic freedom enough to risk being hated by ideologues for defending it.