More Delawares?

The National Association of Scholars has a question: “How many Delawares are there?” The reference is to the indoctrination scandal at the University of Delaware, which is very likely not an isolated case. NAS executive director Peter Wood has announced an investigation to see whether Delaware’s “education program” in student residence halls (in plain English ” mandatory ideological brainwashing”) is happening at other colleges and universities around the country.

Delaware’s Program has been held up as a model for other campuses, and Wood notes that one of the key advisers who helped Delaware devise its program has had contacts with numerous other universities, ostensibly to provide similar advice. NAS will provide both short and long postings on its site as evidence comes in and will work toward a thorough systematic study.

NAS will also keep its focus on the University of Delaware, which has suspended but not canceled its offensive program. Peter Wood says: “We will know the University is serious about mending its ways when it replaces the administrators who created and condoned this debacle.” High on the NAS list of concerns is Delaware’s vice president Michael Gilbert who defended the indoctrination as fully in accord with the university’s mission “to cultivate both learning and the free exchange of ideas,” a truly Orwellian assessment.

The NAS investigation will be conducted by Tom Wood of the California Association of Scholars (no relation to Peter Wood). Tom Wood says the convergence of trends and views that gave birth to the Delaware program are “widespread, indeed almost normative” on many other campuses. He lists four such trends: 1) the view that minorities suffer from institutional or systemic racism, 2) many administrators now feel it is part of their duties to combat racism, 3) the view that education must be transformational for students, which opens the door to imposing views that the university wants to have embraced, and 4) the view that instruction must be integrated into dorm life as well as classroom life in a “total immersion” effort.

Tom Wood says: “All four components of this constellation were present at the University of Delaware, and each contributed to the fiasco of that university’s facilitation training program.” He asks for help: “If you are concerned about a similar program or campus that may be taking a walk on the wild side, kindly let us know.”

We suggest reports from campuses that supply officials to the American College Personnel Association’s commission for housing and residential life. That’s an umbrella group that promotes residence hall programs. It is chaired by Kathleen Kerr of the University of Delaware, a central figure in that university’s scandal. A list of ACPA officials and their institutions can be found here. Other groups in the field are the Association of College and University Housing Officers International and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Tom Wood can be contacted at
Peter Wood can be contacted at


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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3 thoughts on “More Delawares?

  1. Thanks for sharing this post. I am just looking more into this and have found out a lot by reading about this here.

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  3. This sort of indoctrination is occurring everywhere, including both colleges and K-12 schools. It’s spreading like wildfire.
    For examples of K-12 schools that now subject their staff to such mandatory “diversity” indoctrination, based on the concepts of “white privilege” and “institutional racism,” look at what happened in the Seattle School District, and schools in Cherry Creek, CO; Chapel Hill, NC; and elsewhere.
    The Seattle Schools taught that “individualism” is a form of “cultural racism”; that planning ahead is a white characteristic that it is racist to expect minorities to exhibit; and that only whites, who benefit from “white privilege” and “institutional racism,” can be racist.
    These bizarre teachings were ridiculed in opinions by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas in a landmark Supreme Court case issued this June, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (2007). Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion argued that these and other aspects of the Seattle Schools’ obsession with “white privilege” made it inappropriate to blindly defer to school districts when they use race in student assignment.
    Yet the Seattle Schools’ diversity consultant, Glenn Singleton, far from rethinking his obsessons with “white privilege” and “institutionalized racism,” and his weird doctrine that “individualism” is a white characteristic, continues to spread his weird racial philosophy to additional school districts.
    Recently, he was hired as a diversity consultant by the Arlington Public Schools in Arlingon County, Virginia (in the Supreme Court’s own backyard), and by the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board in Nova Scotia, Canada, showing that this indoctrination is being exported to Canada.
    So his theories, while discredited in the courts, continue to spread through academia.
    Civil-rights historian David Beito compares Singleton’s mandatory “diversity” training to Maoist indoctrination, saying that white teachers who forced to participate in it humiliated and depicted as racists.
    His claim that members of different races have different mental characteristics has also drawn fire. Singleton claims that “white talk” is “impersonal, intellectual” and “task-oriented” while “color commentary” is “personal” and “emotional.” If a white teacher said that, he’d be fired for racism.
    Recently, Singleton embarrassed California schools superintendent Jack O’Connell (D). The San Francisco NAACP head demanded an apology after O’Connell said that black people were loud and that white teachers needed to accommodate that loudness in the classroom. O’Connell, who is white, defended himself by noting that he was merely repeating what Singleton, who is black, had told him. In reality, many minority students want “simple, elusive quiet” in the classroom in order to study, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
    My blog posts documenting what I have said above are all available at the OpenMarket blog at The blog posts are dated Dec. 3, Nov. 27, Nov. 20, and Nov. 16, 2007.
    I am a lawyer, and used to practice educational law, including civil-rights claims, and once worked for a short stint at the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.

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