“Western universities have gradually but decisively moved away from the Enlightenment ideal.”
In many ways, the left’s agenda is eclipsing academic freedom. Social justice gets a higher priority than the pursuit of scholarship.
Philip Carl Salzman writes at Minding the Campus:
The War Against Academic Freedom
The Enlightenment ideal of the university is a community of scholars seeking the truth. The methodology of this ideal is a multiplicity of voices and views engaged in discussion and debate, in seeking and adducing evidence, and in drawing and challenging conclusions.
Western universities have gradually but decisively moved away from the Enlightenment ideal. Many institutions have formally committed to Black Lives Matter, “anti-racism,” and societal transformation. Today’s “social justice” university has prioritized the political goals of social, economic, and justice reform, commonly conceptualized as “diversity, equity, inclusion.” These goals are applied within the university through policies that shape admissions, funding, hiring, promotion, residences, ceremonies, and awards.
In practice, “social justice” means preferential treatment for females and certain minorities, such as people of color, LGBTQ++, indigenous natives such as American Indians and Canadian First Nations, Muslims, and the disabled, along with the marginalization of overperforming minorities such as Asians (a.k.a. “white adjacent”) and Jews (a.k.a. “hyper-white”). It also necessitates discrimination against all males and the majority of whites and Christians. Universities establish differential standards for different categories of people, and assessment tools such as standardized exams, for example at the University of California and the Ontario College of Teachers, are abandoned altogether to guarantee equal outcomes between demographic groups.
“Social justice” principles have been formally instituted by university administrations, and are regarded as sacrosanct by many administrators, staff, professors, and students. Special administrative staff, called “diversity” or “diversity and inclusion” officers—numbering dozens or hundreds distributed throughout university offices and mirroring the political commissars of communist societies—are charged with policing “social justice” policies and ensuring conformity in both thought and action among university members.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.