PROF. GIORDANO: Why I am speaking out against DEISJ requirements
As a professor, a political scientist, and a father of two boys, I feel a strong obligation to address this issue due to the detrimental impact it will have not only on the realm of education but also on the future of our nation.
Nicholas Giordano is a professor of Political Science, the host of The P.A.S. Report Podcast, and a fellow at Campus Reform’s Higher Education Fellowship. With 2 decades of teaching experience and over a decade of experience in the emergency management/homeland security arena, Professor Giordano is regularly called on to speak about issues related to government, politics, and international relations.
In a healthy society, the exchange of diverse perspectives and ideas is vital. Unfortunately, many higher education institutions seem to have forgotten this fundamental truth. Following my recent opinion piece in the New York Post criticizing the new “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice” (DEISJ) requirements at the State University of New York (SUNY) and other colleges nationwide, I have been asked about my motivations for speaking out, the risks, and the potential consequences.
As a professor, a political scientist, and a father of two boys, I feel a strong obligation to address this issue due to the detrimental impact it will have not only on the realm of education but also on the future of our nation. For years, some have accused the education system of indoctrination. However, the current movement goes beyond this, constituting a form of brainwashing where only the groupthink mentality will be tolerated.
For those that attempt to dismiss these concerns, consider that higher education institutions throughout the country are now pushing DEISJ in the hiring process. Job postings for faculty positions are emphasizing “evidence of dedication to DEISJ principles in teaching, scholarship, or service,” as part of their preferred qualifications, including job openings at SUNY Farmingdale.
Eastern Washington University is requiring a diversity response on all applications. Colleges like Seton Hall University require all faculty and administrators sitting on search committees to attend diversity training. Administration officials, including diversity officers, have made DEISJ principles a litmus test for new hires. It appears that only those who conform to the narrative will be considered for academic positions.
The DEISJ phenomenon has had a chilling effect on college campuses as the cancel culture mob seeks to destroy those who speak out. Self-censorship is now rampant as faculty feel that college administrators have abandoned them by capitulating to the woke mob. A recent MIT survey found that 60% of faculty believe their voices are constrained, and 79% believe their voices are in jeopardy. Another survey found that 25% of faculty are “very” or “extremely” likely to self-censor, and another 40% are more likely to censor themselves compared to 2020. As institutions such as Georgia State University, Evergreen State College, and Stanford University implement reporting systems for perceived incidents of harm, self-censorship will only increase.
The far-left proponents of DEISJ argue that our education system whitewashes history, an education system they control. Teaching the totality of the American experience, both the good and the bad, is essential. However, that’s not what DEISJ does, and I encourage those who do not believe that DEISJ pushes an agenda to read the documents justifying these requirements.
For example, the New York State Board of Regents in charge of the K-12 curriculums and learning outcomes, explains how the DEISJ framework will “empower students as agents of social change,” while “acknowledging the role that racism and bigotry have played, and continue to play, in the American story.” This is what is being taught to young individuals who have not yet developed their critical thinking skills and ability to challenge ideas.
The intent is clear. DEISJ pushes propaganda and a political agenda that ultimately forces people into groups and pits groups against each other. Diversity has been embedded in the college system for decades. This is not 1920s America, and no one has a problem with diversity. However, notice that he did not make any mention of equity and social justice. The DEISJ revolution is built upon the idea that in order to understand America, it must be viewed through the lens of race, privilege, and oppression.
Teddy Roosevelt warned, “The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin…would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities [groups].”
Do I fear repercussions? Of course, I do. However, I cannot sit back and watch academia destroy itself. For all the educators out there, was this the vision you had for our profession when you began teaching? Do not let these radical ideas render our profession obsolete. Speak out against the DEISJ revolution as the principles of freedom of thought and the demands of DEISJ are incompatible with each other.
Editorials and op-eds reflect the opinion of the authors and not necessarily that of Campus Reform or the Leadership Institute.