Diversity Re-Education at Northwestern

What more can the “diversity” movement do to our colleges and universities? How about mandatory indoctrination? According to an official faculty proposal, Northwestern University is considering a move “to enhance the educational opportunities” of students by installing a diversity course requirement for all undergrads so that the students will “recognize their own positionality in systems of inequality, engage in self-reflection on power and privilege, and learn to engage productively with other who are different.”

The proposal, pushed by some students as well as faculty, would represent the first University-wide academic requirement for undergraduates. By discussing “student outcomes” in relation to the diversity requirement, the proposal seem to make clear what conclusions students are supposed to come to about “systems of inequality” in America and elsewhere. In diversity-speak, “systems of inequality” is closely tied to “white privilege,” “identity politics” and the assumption that America is a deeply flawed racist society. If the proposal passes, a major university will be committed to inculcating this sour view of America.


  • 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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One thought on “Diversity Re-Education at Northwestern”

  1. This proposal is one of the more brazen in the recurring effort to institute “thought reform” and “brainwashing” as a substitute for education and inculcation of the ability to engage in critical thought. The main problem with this proposal is NOT that it takes a sour view of American society, but, rather, that it seeks to force students to agree with this view. It is unworthy of a liberal arts university. I am in many ways a political liberal, but with a strong libertarian streak. I would never allow a child of mine to attend such a school, since the school obviously does not value individual thought and conscience. I hope that the school’s alumni body can be notified of this latest outrage. (Actually, the proposal is composed half of outrage, and half of absurdity.)
    Harvey A. Silverglate
    Cambridge, MA
    Civil liberties lawyer and writer
    Co-founder of The Foundation for
    Individual Rights in Education

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