I have a hypothesis that some day I’ll get around to gathering evidence about: namely, that private liberal arts colleges are actually worse for their narrow political correctness than big research universities like Berkeley, the University of Colorado at Boulder, or Harvard. Although Berkeley has been wracked recently over the issue of free speech and the promised/threatened visit by Milo, the most shocking events of the past year have occurred at small private colleges like Middlebury (Charles Murray) and Claremont McKenna College (Heather Mac Donald). In point of fact, I hosted Heather Mac Donald at Berkeley for a public event two days before the riot that greeted her at Claremont, and it went off without a hitch. Moreover, I think there is good evidence accumulating that liberal arts colleges are trending much more radical.
Case in point is Hamilton College in upstate New York, which is currently advertising to hire a new professor of philosophy. But there is this coda in the job description:
Your cover letter should address the ways in which you would advance the College’s goal of building a diverse educational environment. For candidates’ information, the College recently instituted a Social, Structural, and Institutional Hierarchies requirement students must take in their concentrations which requires that:
…students gain an understanding of structural and institutional hierarchies based on one or more of the social categories of race, class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexuality, age, and abilities/disabilities. The requirement should encourage students to think critically about accomplishments, experiences, and representations of various social groups in the United States and/or other countries.
In other words: leftists only please. “Diverse” doesn’t include any conservatives.
I don’t think a large research university could actually get through a general requirement like this, though of course some individual departments of social justice studies would require this. But generalized for an entire campus, this represents the end of liberal education.
I’m building up a head of steam to ask why liberals—the old fashioned kind—allowed this to happen. I have several non-exclusive theories.
P.S. Reminder from Harvey Silverglate: “Harvard’s idea of diversity is for everyone to look different and think alike.”