In a somewhat shockingly 'frank and honest' blog post, Stephen Bainbridge, the William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, published his diversity statement titled “I submit herewith my “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” statement for my merit raise at UCLAW.”
Professor Bainbridge provides the following background:
“As regular readers know, I’m up for a merit raise at UCLAW this year and am now required to submit a statement of how I contribute to the University’s goals in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I have just emailed the statement to the administration."
Although I am aware and respectful of the many dimensions within which a university properly seeks a diverse faculty and student body, I have long been particularly concerned with the lack of intellectual diversity at the law school. A survey of U.S. law professors in general found that white Democratic professors (both male and female), Jewish professors, and nonreligious professors “account for most (or all) of the overrepresentation among racial, gender, religious, and ideological groups in law teaching.”As AEI's Mark Perry notes, kudos to Professor Bainbridge for writing a diversity statement that should be a template for other conservative and libertarian professors and job applicants who are increasingly being forced to produce these dangerous and troubling “loyalty oaths” in higher education for hiring and promotion that amount to dangerous political litmus tests for political ideology and conformity.
The groups that “account for most of the under-representation among racial, gender, religious, and ideological groups in law teaching” are Republicans (both male and female), Protestants, and Catholics.
This disparity persists even though “religious and political diversity are probably more important for viewpoint diversity than gender diversity and roughly as important as racial diversity.”
At UCLA, we know that the campus as a whole leans substantially to the left. “A study of various university faculties showed that at Cornell the ratio of liberal to conservative faculty members was 166 to 6, at Stanford it was 151 to 17, at UCLA it was 141 to 9, and at the University of Colorado it was 116 to 5.”
Conservative students at UCLA have been “harassed, stalked, and threatened.”
I recently searched the opensecrets.org donor database for political contributions made by persons who claimed UCLA School of Law as their employer. Thirty-eight of those persons contributed solely to Democratic candidates, the Democratic Party and various affiliates, and liberal PACs. One person contributed to both Republicans and Democrats. Three persons contributed exclusively to Republican candidates, the Republican Party, and various NRC affiliates. Of the faculty members who contributed exclusively to Republican candidates, the most recently hired of the two was hired in 1997. As a monetary matter, 92.67% of all contributions went to Democrats and affiliated groups. And if you don't contribute, you get put onto a black list that affects every aspect of your life at UCLA and beyond.
Because conservative students and students of faith often feel alienated and estranged in an environment that is so relentlessly liberal and secular, I have made particular efforts to reach out to and support such students. I have served as a mentor for leaders of The Federalist Society and Christian Law Students Association. I have given talks to both organizations. I taught a Perspectives on law and Lawyering seminar devoted to Catholic Social Thought and the Law, which gave students - whether Catholic or not - an opportunity to consider how their faith (or lack thereof) related to the law and an opportunity to learn about a coherent body of Christian scholarship that might inform their lives as lawyers. I have also tried to lead by example, such as by serving as a volunteer with the Good Shepherd Catholic Church’s St. Vincent de Paul chapter, which raises funds for distribution to poor persons who are in danger of losing their home due to inability to make rent or mortgage payments.
In March, Perry wrote:
What is called a “diversity statement” is essentially a pledge of allegiance to higher education’s orthodox and uniform agenda in its ongoing battle against a color-blind, gender-blind, merit-driven academia. Successful diversity statements will be expected to support an unspoken ideology that emphasizes group identity, an assumption of group victimization, and a claim for group-based entitlements. Diversity statements compromise both academic freedom and academic standards as “purity tests” of an applicant’s worthiness in adherence to a uniform, leftist-liberal-progressive view of “diversity.”Perhaps, given Bainbridge's post, the PC-pretense-police have finally jumped the shark.
Diversity statements will serve to weed out politically incorrect opinions and politically incorrect candidates, because only leftist-oriented statements will be acceptable, reinforcing an ideologically uniform and monolithic professoriate. In reality, “diversity statements” will be in practice “uniformity statements” of adherence to a uniform view of diversity.
Overall, only diversity statements that adhere to a uniform statement of allegiance to a uniform leftist/liberal/Marxist/progressive view of group identity, group victimization, and a claim for group-based entitlements in higher education will enhance and advance a candidate’s application. Failure to profess allegiance and conform to a uniform, orthodox diversity agenda, an agenda that ignores the most important diversity in higher education –intellectual and viewpoint diversity – will doom an applicant’s job prospects. Diversity statements will actually be anti-diversity statements of uniform, leftist-liberal-progressive thought that completely ignore diversity of viewpoints, ideology and thought, and are therefore dangerous and misguided efforts that are threats to academic freedom and will weaken true intellectual diversity.