Penn faculty upset about ‘viewpoint diversity’ proposal, say could mean more GOP hires


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  s  •  one month ago  •  7 comments

Penn faculty upset about ‘viewpoint diversity’ proposal, say could mean more GOP hires

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

One plans to retire early; another says idea may ‘undermine’ education mission

A University of Pennsylvania advisor’s question about “viewpoint diversity” has some faculty upset, with one deeming it “a code word for Republican hires” and another planning to retire early.

Speaking with   The Daily Pennsylvanian   student newspaper this week, history and sociology Professor Harun Küçük   said   he is concerned that political conservatives will take advantage of the university at a vulnerable time, especially after the recent   resignations   of President Liz Magill and Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok.

“You can call it a hostile Republican takeover of a distressed institution,” Küçük said.

His and other faculty members’ concerns primarily relate to a Dec. 12 email to the Board of Trustees from Marc Rowan, chair of the university’s Wharton business school Board of Advisors and a major donor.   According   to   The Philadelphia Inquirer , Rowan posed a number of questions about the university’s actions and mission amid criticism about its responses to antisemitism, free speech, and academic freedom.

Rowan asked the trustees to consider ways to create a “community that engenders respect, even in times of disagreement” and re-examine policies on free speech and civil discourse.

He also asked how important “viewpoint diversity” is in university hiring practices and if it is “compatible” with the university’s “current DEI framework.”

Küçük said Rowan’s letter is a sign that conservatives want to “re-engineer the University,” and the “viewpoint diversity” question is “a code word for Republican hires,” according to the student newspaper.

“The kinds of things that he suggests will turn this place into a vocational school. It will turn into something like the University of Phoenix,” Küçük said. “So I hope there are enough people out there with decision-making power who would see that.”

Another faculty member upset by the letter, political science Professor Robert Vitalis said he plans to retire early, according to the report.

“I don’t want to teach on a campus that has accepted these premises of outsiders being able to say what slogans mean, what can be taught, or who can be teaching things,” Vitalis told the student newspaper.

Meanwhile, cinema and media studies Professor Karen Redrobe suggested Rowan’s letter potentially was unethical.

She told the student newspaper: “I think that any advisory board member or trustee who has participated in that kind of use of duress needs to be held accountable for behavior that undermines the educational mission of the University.”

However, the University of Pennsylvania has faced ongoing criticism in recent years for its actions toward faculty members whose views do not fully align with progressive ideology.

Last year, anthropology Professor Theodore Schurr was the target of complaints because he encouraged students to discuss a variety of views about transgenderism in his classes,   The College Fix   reported .

Additionally, the university’s law school opened an investigation into Professor Amy Wax after she was accused of making “incessant racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic actions and statements,”   The Fix   reported   last year.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression previously criticized the proceedings, saying the university “provided no evidence that Wax engaged in actionable misconduct.”

MORE:   Penn law students reiterate demand to fire Prof. Amy Wax

IMAGE: University of Pennsylvania/Instagram


jrDiscussion - desc
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1  seeder  Sean Treacy    one month ago

"Diversity" in DEI speak just means minorities who parrot the  accepted progressive narrative.  The idea of actual intellectual diversity (which would mean debate and ideas being challenged) is horrifying in the progressive bubble. 

Professor Expert
1.1  Krishna  replied to  Sean Treacy @1    one month ago
"Diversity" in DEI speak just means minorities who parrot the  accepted progressive narrative.  The idea of actual intellectual diversity (which would mean debate and ideas being challenged) is horrifying in the progressive bubble. 

True diversity would mean not only diversity based on race, religion, or ethnicity but also diversity of viewpoints.

Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1.1.1  seeder  Sean Treacy  replied to  Krishna @1.1    one month ago

Yes, and at a university that should be dedicated to the pursuit  of knowledge, a differing viewpoints, allowing ideas to be challenged and defended, would seem to be most important. Without true debate, ideas aren’t really developed.

Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2  seeder  Sean Treacy    one month ago

A Harvard Professor's Honest DEI statement:

The university, according to you, espouses an absolute commitment to a set of words that seems to generate positive feelings in your office, and perhaps among administrators generally, but it is not my practice to make judgments based on feelings. In fact, my training as a historian leads me to distrust such feelings as a potential obstacle to clear thinking. I don’t think it’s useful to describe the feelings I experience when particular words and slogans are invoked and how they affect my professional motivations. It might be useful on a psychoanalyst’s couch or in a religious cult, but not in a university.

Let me take, as an example, the popular DEI slogan “Diversity is our strength.” This states as an absolute truth a belief that, at best, can only be conditional. When George Washington decided not to require, as part of the military oath of the Continental Army, a disavowal of transubstantiation (as had been previous practice), he was able to enlist Catholic soldiers from Maryland to fight the British. Diversity was our strength. On the other hand, when the combined forces of Islam, under the command of Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik, besieged Constantinople in 717, diversity was not their strength. At the crisis of the siege, the Christian sailors rowing in the Muslim navy rose in revolt and the amphibious assault broke down.

Since most societies have usually been at war or under the threat of war for most of history, public sentiment has ordinarily preferred unity to diversity. Prudent and humane governments have usually tolerated a degree of pluralism in order to reduce social discord, but pluralism as such has not been celebrated as a positive feature of society until quite recently. In fact, diversity is a luxury good that can be enjoyed only in secure, peaceful societies. Even in such societies, it has to be weighed against other goods (like meritocracy) that will have to be sacrificed if it is pursued as an absolute good. An indiscriminate commitment to “diversity,” bereft of any loyalty to unifying principles, is the mark of a weak or collapsing society...

All this should be blindingly obvious to anyone with a cursory knowledge of the past.

It may be less obvious why Equity is not a value that all can willingly embrace. The word has a legitimate meaning in Roman law, referring to the need to correct strict justice in light of a wider sense of fairness.   Summum ius, summa iniuria.   The law cannot be strictly applied in cases where a greater injury might result.

This is not, however, the way your office likes to understand the term Equity. In EDIB-speak, it means “equality of outcomes.” Any policies that produce unequal outcomes—for example, an admissions policy that produces a student body that does not mirror the exact proportions of some (not all) minorities in the country—lack Equity. In this sense, an absolute commitment to Equity can’t help but undermine the university’s commitment to its primary purpose, which is the pursuit of truth

Sophomore Quiet
2.1  MonsterMash  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    one month ago

WAAH WAAH WAAH  If I have to teach at university that has a few conservative professors I'm taking my ball home and retiring. 

charger 383
Professor Silent
3  charger 383    one month ago

               “a code word for Republican hires,” 

So, the University of Pennsylvania has something against Republicans? 

Sophomore Quiet
3.1  MonsterMash  replied to  charger 383 @3    one month ago

Most universities have an unspoken motto. 

If you teach any other way than the progressive's way take the highway.


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