Like most state university systems across America, North Carolina’s has become suffused with politics. Those who believe that it’s more important to have people with the correct ideology teaching than to find the most capable ones have managed to get their hiring preferences written into many job descriptions. Unless you can demonstrate that you are among the “woke,” you can forget about working in the UNC system.
In today’s Martin Center article, Jay Schalin looks at the spread of “diversity statements” to filter out applicants who aren’t ideologically acceptable.
Among the numerous examples Schalin gives is a position at UNC-Wilmington for a professor of biological oceanography. He writes, “Under the heading ‘Required Documents’ is listed a ‘Diversity Statement.’ It is defined as ‘a statement that addresses how their cultural, experiential, and/or academic background contributes to the building of an equitable and diverse scholarly environment.’”
In other words, unless you can prove that you’re obsessed with group equality, forget it.
Similarly, aspiring professors of computer science there must show how “issues of diversity shape their working practices, past and planned.”
At Appalachian State, candidates for a visiting professorship in government need to demonstrate, “Research, teaching, service, or professional experiences with an established record of supporting underrepresented groups and promoting diversity and inclusiveness.”
It just so happens, Schalin notes, that NC state law forbids such political litmus tests. He concludes, “Diversity statements and DEI training also violate the spirit of ‘institutional neutrality’ that is treated as a standard for UNC campuses in section 116-300, part c(3) of the Free Speech Act. For, by making such statements and training requirements for employment of matriculation, the schools are declaring that the DEI agenda is an institutional value.”