We will look back on the last few years of free speech suppression and the repeated career-ending accusations of racist for those who questioned the DEI movement
I learned from someone with first person knowledge of the @Harvard president search that the committee would not consider a candidate who did not meet the DEI office's criteria.
The same was likely true for other elite universities doing searches at the same time, creating an even more limited universe of DEI-eligible presidential candidates.
Shrinking the pool of candidates based on required race, gender, and/or sexual orientation criteria is not the right approach to identifying the best leaders for our most prestigious universities.
And it is also not good for those awarded the office of president who find themselves in a role that they would likely not have obtained were it not for a fat finger on the scale.
I have been called brave for my tweets over the last few weeks. The same could be said for those called out Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare.
I don't think it will be long before we look back on the last few years of free speech suppression and the repeated career-ending accusations of racist for those who questioned the DEI movement.
We are all shortly going to realize that the DEI era is the McCarthy era Part II. History rhymes, but it does not repeat. - Bill Ackman
A little rant about American universities, in the light on the recent Congressional testimony debacle:
Today I learned that Harvard President Claudine Gay seems to have published only 11 peer-reviewed journal papers in her entire academic career. 'So what?', you might ask.
Well, that's about the number you'd normally need to get hired as a first-year tenure-track assistant professor at a decent state university. It's the number I published in the 12 months before I got tenure.
It's about the number that my more workaholic colleagues publish every year, decade after decade, throughout their careers. And it's less than 1% as many papers as get published by outstanding researchers like behavior geneticist Nick Martin (with over 1,500 journal papers).
The situation at Harvard is not unusual. The leaders of academia are not typically leading academics, in the sense of highly productive researchers or widely respected teachers. One might say they are career bureaucrats - but that would misunderstand their crucial ideological function.
The American people need to understand that in modern universities, both public and private, administrators function more like party political officers in communist Russian or Chinese universities. They are selected, throughour their careers, largely for their political commitments, and their willingness to enforce them. Like Cold War commissars, their allegiance is to the party, not to academia where they happen to work.
I mean 'party' quite literally: the Democratic party. Most American university administrators are loyal Democrats, and can't really imagine why anyone wouldn't be. Very few are Republicans or Libertarians.
And an increasing proportion of them are fully woke identitarian Leftists: they often launched their careers with a short series of papers on woke topics, using woke ideological frameworks, published in woke journals - before turning to the administrative track that offers much more political power to propagandize, indoctrinate, and control.
'So what?', you're might ask.
I've seen many calls for university administrators to enforce the rules of classical liberalism and free speech more fairly. This is like asking a Soviet-era commissar to abandon their Communist party allegiance, and to develop an entirely new identity and ethos grounded in an ideology that they have spent their entire career fighting.
It will not happen. Political animals do not change their spots.
University presidents who have prioritized amassing ideological power over producing academic research will not suddenly rediscover the merits of open inquiry.
They need to be fired, and replaced with academic leaders who are actually leading academics - rather than party political officers. -Geoffrey Miller, Psychology Professor. @primalpoly on twitter.