IAM has reported on the “coalition of the victims” that help the BDS movement to spread. The following article on Stanford University is a reflection on a trend gone mad.
The president of Stanford University, one of the elite schools in the U.S, a white man, is about to retire. A coalition of students called Who is Teaching Us (WTU) is demanding that his replacement be a “nonwhite transgendered person.” The same group also demands for the university to hire “at least 10 tenure-track ethnic studies professors,” a requirement that all faculty go through “comprehensive identity and cultural humility training,” racial quotas in the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, and an expansion in the humanities major to “require double the current number of required classes on works by people of color.”
WTU was upset because “Professor Stephen Hong Sohn, a queer Asian American scholar with a vital mentorship role in the community,” was denied tenure in the Stanford English Department.
These demands may seem outrageous or bizarre to those who view the university as a locus of academic excellence based on merit regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. Indeed, Peter Woods, president of the National Association of Scholars responded: “I would think any educationally and intellectually serious university would choose its next president on the basis of outstanding scholarship and ability to lead a very largely complex and prestigious university in our time,” He added: “The sorts of demands being put on the search for a candidate of a particular ethnicity, gender preference and sexual identity are manifestly silly and destructive.”
But it’s the universities themselves that started this trend in the sixties. Faced with protest from minorities and women, they established a large number of ethnic studies, gender studies, and queer studies. They were often considered academic backwaters where promotions were based on quotas attuned to the degree of “victimhood.” Such “bubbles” were reinforced by an ever-growing number of academic journals that catered to these ethnic, gender, and queer sectors.
Until recently, college administrators patted themselves on the back for solving a vexing problem while allowing them to pursue academic excellence based on merit, most notably hard science and engineering. However, the academic offshoot of Black Lives Matter has upset the status quo.
Stanford University, reflecting its elite science status, has a long history of picking scientists to serve at the top administrative positions. Indeed, the present elect is Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a distinguished neuroscientist.
To fulfill the WTU mandate, the university would have to look for a nonwhite transgendered person. The question is how many transgendered persons among top scientists are available? As long as the climate of appeasement toward the "coalition of the victims" prevails on campus, fighting BDS would be hard.
Stanford students demand nonwhite, transgender university president
By Bradford Richardson - The Washington Times - Thursday, March 31, 2016
After the university hired a white man to fill the role, a group of Stanford University students is demanding the school’s next president be nonwhite and either transgender or female to make up for it.
A group called the Who’s Teaching Us Coalition said in a statement this week that administrative diversity is necessary in order to “break both the legacy of white leadership and cisgender male leadership” at the Palo Alto, California, campus.
University President John Hennessy, a white man who has presided over the elite educational establishment since 2000, announced last year that he would step down from his post this summer. The Stanford board of trustees in February appointed neuroscientist Marc Tessier-Lavigne, who is also a white man, to be the school’s next president.
Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, dismissed the notion that the university should hire administrators on the basis of characteristics irrelevant to the job.
“I would think any educationally and intellectually serious university would choose its next president on the basis of outstanding scholarship and ability to lead a very largely complex and prestigious university in our time,” Mr. Wood said. “The sorts of demands being put on the search for a candidate of a particular ethnicity, gender preference and sexual identity are manifestly silly and destructive.”
But Mr. Wood added that Stanford has “invited this by coddling students who make these sorts of claims.”
“Instead of simply dismissing them out of hand, they’re invited to the discussion. They shouldn’t be,” he said. “The price of getting admission to the discussion is a certain degree of intellectual seriousness which is completely absent from this set of demands.”
The call for a “diverse” president was one of several charges issued by WTU, which argued the university “has failed to address issues of faculty/administrative diversity and curricular, extracurricular, and residential life equality.”
Other demands call for the university to hire “at least 10 tenure-track ethnic studies professors,” a requirement that all faculty go through “comprehensive identity and cultural humility training,” racial quotas in the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, and an expansion in the humanities major to “require double the current number of required classes on works by people of color.”
The students are also demanding a “dedicated, responsive platform for reporting and tracking microaggressions from faculty.”
“WE DEMAND the administration immediately accept the aforementioned demands and that a statement of acceptance, a timetable of implementation for each demand, and an administrative point person for each demand, be presented to WTU at 3 PM on Friday April 8th, in open forum at the Native American Cultural Center,” the requisition concludes.
Calls to the Stanford press office and other administrative departments inquiring whether the school will meet the deadline went unanswered.
The demands were formally published after they were leaked by the Stanford Review, the school’s conservative newspaper.
In a mission statement affixed to the demands, WTU said it was founded after “Professor Stephen Hong Sohn, a queer Asian American scholar with a vital mentorship role in the community,” was denied tenure in the Stanford English Department.
The group claimed in the statement that “classrooms dominated by white professors and Western focused curricula reproduce the social conditions that globally oppress non-White/non-Western people” and said it is engaged in a struggle to “decolonize education in the 21st century.”
Mr. Wood said the group’s demands are both a power grab and an attempt to imitate protests at other campuses that have garnered praise in elite circles.
“The movement is partly reflective of the profound ignorance of the students about the nature of higher education and universities,” Mr. Wood said.
“To sort out people according to superficial characteristics such as race or sex or sexual preference or sexual identity or whatever these things amount to is a direct assault on the very foundations of what a university should be,” he added. “I would trust that the people responsible for Stanford, its board of trustees, its alumni, its faculty members, would have the good sense to brush aside this set of outrageous demands.”