News from the University front

Rod Dreher:

This is a school that a lot of uninformed people would regard as “safe”:

No one likes it when dire predictions come true. For years the leftists on our campus have operated largely as Fabians: they thought the structure was corrupt, but they figured they could effect the changes from within it. They had many successes, but each success brought with it an appetite for more. They were waiting for the moment when the revolution that had taken place at the level of culture could take place at the level of administrative control. This is their moment. This is when the very nature of the institutions change, not so much in terms of their structures, which they’ll largely maintain, but in terms of their animating principles. For colleges such as mine this means the replacement of Christianity with the religion of anti-racism.

It did not take our president long after the death of George Floyd to issue a statement asseverating definitively that Floyd’s death was “an act of racism,” despite the fact that he couldn’t possibly know if this was true. He also expressed his “deep grief” and how “heart-broken” he was, as if Floyd were his own child. He did this in part because, like any sane person, he was horrified both by Floyd’s death and by the specter of racism, and in part because he was getting enormous pressure (no pun intended) put on him by faculty and alumni.

Since then, even though it’s summer, things have gotten worse. The president has issued more statements expressing his hurt and committing college resources to “combat racism,” even though college campuses are the least racist places in America. We’ve been having townhall meetings where people can tell their stories of oppression, and express their fear about how much danger they’re in because some people won’t bow to their gods. All these townhall meetings include calls to action that become increasingly heavy-handed.

A couple of years ago, under the radar, the administration issued a new policy that anyone involved in a hire had to undergo implicit bias training. When I told my dean that I found the idea of implicit bias training to be faulty at both a philosophical and social science level, and a serious threat to academic freedom and so would not participate, he replied “That’s too bad, because you won’t be participating in any searches, and frankly you make valuable contributions on those.”