“The more I push[ed] for policy change, the more resistant the leadership became. It was a highly macro-aggressive environment”
Three diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) staffers have resigned from Princeton University in recent months, saying that they did so due to a lack of support from the school administration.
Diversity administrators weren’t even a thing a few years ago, but now it has become an industry within higher education.
The Daily Princetonian reports:
3 Princeton DEI staff members resign, alleging lack of support
In May, the University’s Director of Athletics was “incredibly excited” to announce a new hire for the department: Jordan “JT” Turner, who would be joining the University as the inaugural Associate Director of Athletics for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Turner’s role was intended to “create and maintain a culture of mutual respect and unity” and oversee “all aspects of DEI education and training for student-athletes, coaches and staff with Princeton Athletics,” according to a University announcement.
Within four months, Turner resigned from the role.
Turner is not the only University DEI official to recently resign. Since September 2021, two other Princeton staff members who were hired to conduct DEI-related work across the University have resigned. All three independently alleged a systemic lack of support from the University administration.
An investigation by The Daily Princetonian traces the paths that led to the resignations of Turner, Dr. Jim Scholl, and Dr. Avina Ross. In a series of interviews, the three shared their experiences working with the University and their respective departments, and what eventually prompted them to resign.
Scholl served as the Chair of the Transgender Health Team at University Health Services (UHS) and the Preventions Programs Manager at the Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources and Education (SHARE) office, and Ross was the Associate Director of SHARE.
Here are some of the quotes from one of the staffers, who you may notice is repeatedly referred to as “they.”
But once in the job, Turner told the ‘Prince’ they experienced barriers that reduced their ability to affect change. They resigned in September.
“I am a Black queer non-binary person who came to Princeton to create a more just and equitable playing field for all,” they said in an interview. “In 2022, we know there are deep issues of injustice and inequity in athletics and unfortunately, those in positions of power within the department missed a crucial opportunity to address those issues head-on. I was disappointed by that.”…
“The more I push[ed] for policy change, the more resistant the leadership became. It was a highly macro-aggressive environment,” they added. “I couldn’t take the necessary steps that were needed to lay the groundwork for innovative equity work in the department.”
Ironically, on the same day that this report was published, The College Fix published a story about diversity training and a Princeton psychologist:
No strong proof yet that diversity trainings ‘work’: Princeton psychologist
The Black Lives Matter riots and the killing of George Floyd in summer 2020 brought on a rush of diversity spending by corporations and universities, but there is minimal research on the value of such trainings, according to a Princeton University psychologist.
Social psychologist Betsy Paluck supports so-called diversity, equity and inclusion training but says that more research is needed on the effectiveness of the programming. She recently wrote an op-ed titled “Does diversity training work? We don’t know – and here’s why.”
Paluck (pictured) wrote December 12 in The Washington Post:
In 2022, this question has special significance, as measures to increase diversity and racial equity have come under political attack, often by people who believe those shouldn’t be goals in the first place. But even among people who believe in the basic mission, common questions about diversity training have shifted from “Which training is best?” to “Is the training even a good idea?” and “Does the training have negative effects?”
The problem is that the real answer to all three of these questions is: We don’t know.
The behavioral scientist wrote a paper on “prejudice reduction” research and found only two papers on the effectiveness of DEI training.
“Out of hundreds of studies evaluating prejudice reduction programming from the past decade, only two large studies tracked the effects of diversity training,” she wrote. “Most diversity training evaluations look like customer satisfaction surveys (‘How much did you appreciate this?’) or elementary school worksheets (‘Tell me what you learned today about stereotyping’).”
Higher education did fine for hundreds of years without diversity administrators. It’s entirely unclear why they are somehow needed now.DONATE
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