Report: ‘Diversity Statements’ Weed Out Conservative Scholars in Oregon

, Spencer Irvine, 4 Comments

photo by Wolfram Burner

“Diversity statements” are used by universities in Oregon to weed out conservative and other right-leaning scholars at universities, a new report issued by the Oregon Association of Scholars (OAS) alleges.


Per the report, the universities in Oregon (University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and Oregon Health and Science University) use a new kind of litmus test to single out conservative scholars: diversity statements.


The report’s executive summary reads, as follows:


Oregon colleges and universities have begun to impose requirements for prospective and current faculty to show their commitment to the partisan ideology of “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” This is only one part of a bigger push to impose a partisan ideology onto higher education in the state, but its threat to academic freedom and research excellence is acute. While in theory, these terms can be defined in ways consistent with a variety of political perspectives, in practice Oregon universities have defined them in strongly partisan ways. As these new ideological litmus tests spread throughout the state, faculty will spend more time signaling their zealous support and making sure not to challenge students in ways that might be construed as a threat to this ideology. This report examines the spread of diversity statements for faculty hiring and promotion at the University of Oregon, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon State University, and Portland State University. It considers the ways they have been imposed on faculty, the harms they will cause, and the ways they can be reversed.