The University of North Carolina (UNC) has taken a decisive step toward ending woke culture in higher education by moving to end diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) considerations of admission, hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. At a Board of Governors meeting on Thursday, the university voted to prohibit “compelled speech on matters of contemporary political debate or social action.”
The board stated that the university would not require an employee or applicant to commit to any beliefs, affiliations, ideals, or principles of DEI as a condition of admission, employment, or professional advancement. The decision comes amid rising concerns about wokeness and DEI infiltrating American universities.
— J Michael Waller (@JMichaelWaller) February 25, 2023
Color Us United, an organization pushing to remove DEI from medical education practice, applauded the move, saying that a race-blind, meritocratic society with high standards is the proven path to producing excellence in the United States.
The organization was particularly concerned about the negative impact of DEI statements and policies on the medical profession, where patient outcomes depend on promoting the most qualified doctors, regardless of their identity group.
Woke indoctrination in American education is sure to be a leading issue in the 2024 GOP presidential primaries.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is a fierce opponent of woke policies and critical race theory in public schools. He announced in February that he would block state colleges from having programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and critical race theory.
DeSantis, who is widely expected to launch a 2024 White House bid, believes that the public wants to see true academics and an end to the political window dressing that accompanies woke policies.
President Donald Trump, a declared 2024 candidate for the White House, has also unveiled an education plan that would cut federal funding for any school or program that includes critical race theory, gender ideology, or other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content.
In a recent video, Trump said that his plan to “restore power to American parents” will include ending federal spending on “any school or program pushing critical race theory, gender ideology or other inappropriate racial, sexual or political content onto our children.”
“The Marxism being preached in our schools is also totally hostile to Judeo-Christian teachings, and in many ways it’s resembling an established new religion,” he added.
UNC’s move against woke culture is a pivotal decision that will shape the discourse in American universities. While the university’s decision has been applauded by some and rejected by others, it marks a turning point in the fight against DEI statements and policies. Moreover, UNC’s decision will likely influence other schools and states to follow suit and ban DEI statements and compelled speech.