David Randall, Ph.D. | March 17, 2022
‘Diversity’ ideology spreads to engineering, atmospheric sciences, energy
David Randall, Ph.D.
Oklahoma’s universities are thickening their “diversity” bureaucracies as fast as they can. In the name of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), the diversity bureaucrats repress free speech, impose race and sex quotas, and say that these are fundamental principles everyone must affirm. Often they won’t let you go to college or keep a job if you won’t.
The diversity bureaucrats are spreading out from the country’s universities to the rest of America. A big way they do that is by seizing control of the professional schools. Young Americans learn engineering or computer science or agriculture in order to qualify for a wide range of ordinary decent jobs. Now they have to learn diversity propaganda, too.
In Oklahoma, the diversity bureaucrats have just begun to take over the professional schools. But the damage they do gets worse every day.
At the University of Oklahoma, the Gallogly College of Engineering (GCoE) now boasts a “Diversity and Inclusion Program” which “facilitates the outreach, recruitment, retention, and overall success of underrepresented students.” GCoE helpfully reminds us that “diversity” is simply affirmative action with a coercive ideology attached: “Over the years, the name of the program has evolved from the Minority Engineering Program to the Multicultural Engineering Program to the Diversity and Inclusion Program.”
GCoE builds upon this diversity commitment to publicize dedicated fundraising for diversity and inclusion programs. In other words, GCoE steers financial and career benefits on the basis of racial identity: “The Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (OK-LSAMP STEM) ... is an opportunity for upperclassmen in the Gallogly College of Engineering to participate in research with a faculty member in their area of interest during the school year.” GCoE funnels sex preferences via Women in Engineering, including by means of the outreach programs Girls Learning and Applying Math and Science and Shell High School Girls Day.
The permanent staff for GCoE’s Diversity and Inclusion Program already includes two full-time employees and six student assistants. GCoE’s diversity bureaucracy also includes a Dean’s Advisory Board on Diversity, consisting of past beneficiaries of the race and sex preference regime. The advisory board has the power to divert GCoE money to fund diversity set-asides: “The Board is empowered to raise discretionary funds targeting diversity initiatives on behalf of the Gallogly College of Engineering.” The program also recruits alumni to “Join the D&I/MEP Alumni group on LinkedIn” and students to “Volunteer to mentor an D&I student.”
GCoE’s job advertisements reflect the new dispensation. A December 2021 advertisement, for Assistant Professors of Engineering Pathways, specifies that “Emphases for these positions will align with current programs in Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion, and Women in Engineering.” Applicants are required to provide “a statement on professional experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion and how they intend to promote these values as faculty.”
Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences
Meanwhile, OU’s College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences (A&GS) has kept pace with GCoE in the rush to establish diversity bureaucracies by establishing its own Diversity, Equity, and Inclucion [sic] Council. The goals of the A&GS council include:
To develop, promote, and monitor the effectivenesss [sic] of diversity and inclusivity programs and initiatives in AGS
Coordinate with, and support the activities of the campus-wide Diversity Equity, and Inclusion Academic Council, as well as other entities engaged in efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity at the University of Oklahoma
Serve as the compass and conscience of the College in ensuring that AGS is proactive in sharing, adopting, and implementing best diversity and inclusivity practicies [sic] with respect to students, faculty and staff welfare, recruitment, retention, and graduation or promotion
A&GS offers DEI Training & Workshops, provided by OU’s central Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which include a Diversity Ally Training Series of Diversity Unlearning Training. In Spring 2022, these trainings appear to include “Unlearning Trans + Homonegativity,” “Unlearning Racism,” “Unlearning Ableism,” and “Unlearning Sexism.” Additional trainings include #WeAre, DACA Information, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Online Training.
In these trainings, faculty and students
Learn about key concepts related to identity, bias, power, privilege and oppression
Understand the benefits of being part of a diverse community
Develop skills related to ally behavior, self-care, and creating inclusive spaces
A&GS’s DEI Resources include “Gender Bias in STEM,” “500 Queer Scientists,” “I, Racist,” “What Riding My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege,” “Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person,” and more.
Earth and Energy
OU’s Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy (MCEE) likewise declares that it values Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: “The goal of the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy's diversity initiative is to enhance OU’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, recognize and respect the essential worth of each individual, and value differences amongst groups in the college.”
Its new Coordinator of Student Engagement also “serve[s] as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion liaison for the college and work[s] on initiatives related to the strategic plan.” The MCEE diversity web page includes what it calls a “learning and land acknowledgement” which states: “The Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy acknowledges this territory once also served as a hunting ground, trade exchange point, and migration route for the Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, and Osage nations. Today, 39 tribal nations dwell in the state of Oklahoma as a result of settler and colonial policies that were designed to eradicate and assimilate Native people.”
MCEE’s initiatives also include a Diversity Book Club, whose books include Claude M. Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do; Mahzarin R. Banaji’s Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People; and Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility.
MCEE’s student resources include use of the GCoE diversity and inclusion program. They also include the prompt that MCEE will provide information and resources if “your club or organization [is interested in] reading a book on diversity together.” As for faculty and staff resources, “Mewbourne College’s goal is 100% faculty and staff participation in the University of Oklahoma Unlearning Series.” This follows up on the post-George Floyd riots statement by MCEE’s dean that “all faculty and staff will be required to take the Unlearning series, which addresses subjects like racism, classism, and sexism.”
In sum, the DEI ideologues and their programs have already penetrated deeply into OU’s Gallogly College of Engineering, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, and Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy. No part of Oklahoma higher education is safe from the diversity bureaucrats.
[For more stories about higher education in Oklahoma, visit AimHigherOK.com.]
David Randall, Ph.D.
David Randall is the research director of the National Association of Scholars. He earned a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University, an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University, a master’s degree in library science from the Palmer School at Long Island University, and a B.A. from Swarthmore College. Prior to working at NAS he was the sole librarian at the John McEnroe Library at New York Studio School.