‘Diversity, equity, and social justice’: Oklahoma higher ed is hiring
February 9, 2021
“If you doubt that progressive indoctrination is widespread in Oklahoma’s tax-funded higher education system,” I wrote in part one of this series, “simply visit the website of The Chronicle of Higher Education on any given day and peruse the job postings.”
Let’s dive in again and see what we can find today.
- The University of Oklahoma is hiring a senior vice president and provost. The candidate “must be visionary, politically astute, and committed to public service and diversity, equity, and inclusion necessary to advance the university and inspire its multiple constituencies.”
- OU is also looking for a law school dean. Again, “the next dean must be visionary, politically astute, and have a commitment to service and to diversity, equity, and inclusion necessary to advance OU Law and inspire its multiple constituencies.”
- The University of Central Oklahoma is hiring an assistant professor to teach studio art. “The University of Central Oklahoma strongly promotes diversity. The Department of Art is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications from minorities and women.”
- Native American Studies is “a dynamic and growing academic unit” at OU. “We are seeking applications for an associate or full professor of Native American Studies specializing in Spirituality and the Environment.”
- The Department of Human Relations at OU “invites applications for a renewable term lecturer on a 3-year-term for its Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice online program.” The program’s mission “is to advocate for policy and programmatic changes through educating professionals in the field of social services. Of particular interest at the Department of Human Relations are candidates who are committed to making a difference in society through social change.”
- OU’s Department of Human Relations is also seeking a renewable term lecturer for its Inclusive Leadership online program. “Of particular interest,” of course, “are candidates who espouse diversity and commitment to develop leadership competencies for organization.”
- OU’s Helmerich School of Drama is also looking to hire. “The School of Drama is committed to a policy of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in all its classes and productions,” says one job posting. Another drama-school job posting says “BIPOC+ applicants are strongly encouraged.” [BIPOC stands for Black and Indigenous People of Color.] “To apply: Submit cover letter; CV; a statement of teaching philosophy; a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement …”
- Interestingly, both of the drama-school job postings include this tidbit: “You can view our full EDI policy, along with our Land Acknowledgment Statement, at www.drama.ou.edu.” And what exactly is the Land Acknowledgement Statement? It is as follows: “Long before the University of Oklahoma was established, the land on which the University now resides was the traditional home of the “Hasinais” Caddo Nation and “Kirikirʔi:s” Wichita & Affiliated Tribes. We acknowledge this territory once also served as a hunting ground, trade exchange point, and migration route for the Apache, Comanche, Kiowa and Osage nations. Today, 39 tribal nations dwell in the state of Oklahoma as a result of settler and colonial policies that were designed to assimilate Native people. The University of Oklahoma recognizes the historical connection our university has with its indigenous community. We acknowledge, honor and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this land. We fully recognize, support and advocate for the sovereign rights of all of Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations. This acknowledgment is aligned with our university’s core value of creating a diverse and inclusive community. It is an institutional responsibility to recognize and acknowledge the people, culture and history that make up our entire OU Community.”
It’s clear from past, present (and doubtless future) job postings that “diversity, equity, and inclusion” is very important. Indeed, “the absolute most important thing to me,” says OU president Joseph Harroz, Jr., “is that we get it right around diversity and inclusion.” Incredibly, it is OU’s “top priority.”
If diversity and inclusion—rather than, say, providing classroom instruction to students—is what’s most important, the damage to the university could be significant. Already OU’s diversicrats have managed to elicit widespread mockery and derision: in one short week this article has been read in all 50 states, garnering more than 31,000 page views.
Let’s hope the regents can get control of the situation. Otherwise, Gov. Kevin Stitt and state lawmakers should consider Milton Friedman’s suggestion that perhaps we should be taxing universities rather than subsidizing them.
[For more stories about higher education in Oklahoma, visit AimHigherOK.com.]