One would assume that colleges and universities in politically-red states would be immune to the onslaught of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives spreading across the country in higher education and now, corporations. However, the University of Utah, located in Salt Lake City, is no stranger to liberal ideological indoctrination.
According to the National Association of Scholars, the university’s physics and astronomy department is trying to ensure that all potentially tenured professors pledge to honor diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within the department. The department’s “Retention, Promotion and Tenure” policy now includes provisions for potential tenure candidates to champion their social justice efforts. The department requires a statement of accomplishments related to enhancing the concept of diversity wherever it was successfully utilized. Some of the requirements include outreach efforts to minority communities for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) recruitment and inclusive teaching philosophy and mentorship.
A key component of the department’s policy forces candidates to actively promote principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. By focusing on these issues, the department is sending a message to faculty members that they are more important than the job for which they were hired. After all, the main goal of physics and astronomy professors should be teaching the concepts and principles of their academic fields. Instead, the university department is forcing them to add more responsibilities, which may not be related to the reason why they were hired.
Another concern is the department’s alleged failure to provide definitions for the terms “equity,” “diversity,” and “inclusion.” One could assume that the department adheres to the liberal definitions of these terms.