Universities in California once required faculty to sign an anti-communist oath.
Many faculty resigned or refused to sign in principle, and no one liked to look back on that history. However, California’s community colleges are on the verge of accepting a new pledge of loyalty. Instead of forcing faculty to condemn communism, a new policy will force all faculty to submit to the university bureaucracy’s social justice agenda.
But whatever the current dogma, forced obedience to political beliefs is poison for free thought and the search for truth.
The California Community College Administration just passed a rule requiring teachers to use Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) principles and anti-racism in their teaching. DEIA and anti-racism are labels for a range of controversial creeds, ranging from the belief that minorities should be privileged in hiring, college admissions, etc., to the broader belief that capitalism and similar underlying institutions must be rooted out to address systemic racism Opinion. Proponents of anti-racism argue that anyone who does not support these deeply divisive concepts is actually a racist.
Community colleges in California want to require all teachers to preach this political creed in their classrooms. The rule states: “Faculty and staff shall employ instructional practices and curriculum that reflect DEIA and anti-racism principles.” Faculty supervisors must “place great emphasis on DEIA competencies in staff evaluation and tenure review processes.” Administrators must apply these principles to schools Almost all aspects of operations, including the “funding allocation, decision-making, planning and project review process”.
University leadership sees anti-racism as a cornerstone of its mission. At a recent meeting, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Daisy Gonzales said community colleges should “institutionalize equity as a core function of what we do”. Academic Senate President Dolores Davison similarly asserted that anti-racism should be “embedded in everything we do.” The pursuit of knowledge gave way to politics.
A university curriculum committee drafted “Model Principles and Practice” on DEIA in the classroom, making it clear how savagely partisan the framework is. For example, the committee believes that teaching from an “individualist perspective” is a “Eurocentric” approach that should be abandoned in favor of a “collectivist perspective”. Likewise, teachers should use a “social justice lens across all disciplines.”
The message is clear: Teachers must adopt and teach specific, partisan worldviews or be kicked out of the classroom.
It’s worse than the Loyalty Pledge because it demands more than John Hancock — it determines what teachers can say in the classroom, and even what teachers can think.
UC has gone from mandatory signature to mandatory tongue. This forced orthodoxy violates teachers’ First Amendment rights and hurts students.
The rule would compromise academic freedom by requiring teachers to submit to the college’s preferred views on controversial issues in the classroom. If teachers disagree on hot-button issues like transgenderism, police practices, affirmative action and other issues in athletics, they could risk their jobs. The result is a weakened academic community that tends to consolidate dogma rather than seek truth.
Students away from different viewpoints will be intellectually unarmed to deal with the complexities, nuances, and self-reflection that the real marketplace of ideas offers. Ruth Simmons, the first black president of an Ivy League school, put it this way: “One’s voice becomes stronger when it encounters opposition. . . . The collision of opinions and ideologies exists in the academic enterprise. in the DNA. There is no need for collision avoidance technology here.”
If universities install an ideological filter in the classroom that excludes conservative views on today’s pressing issues, students will graduate with docile minds, lax in opinions, and unprepared for a complex world.
Students who dare to think independently and resist indoctrination will also increasingly be marginalized and abused by activist professors.
Irony is inevitable. California schools used to force teachers to reject collectivism, now they want to force teachers to embrace collectivism. However, both movements share a disturbing foundation: the drive to impose dogma on young people, the urge to advocate rather than persuade. That’s not education. is indoctrination.
Ethan Blevins and Daniel Ortner are attorneys at the Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit legal organization that defends American liberties when threatened by government overreach and abuse of power.