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Higher Education

DEI is unraveling at our universities. Good riddance to a failed and divisive bureaucracy.

Compelling future faculty or students to profess adherence to a set of controversial beliefs goes against the very nature of higher education.

Former President Donald Trump and first son Hunter Biden may be stealing the headlines now, but there鈥檚 something else that deserves your attention: the continued antisemitic 鈥 and increasingly violent 鈥 incidents at 91影视 universities.

Last week, at Stanford University 鈥渂arricaded鈥 themselves inside the school president鈥檚 office. The occupation led to the to the building.听

Similar instances have occurred across the country in recent weeks, with other buildings and Palestinian sympathizers blocking and 鈥 including 鈥 from getting to their classrooms.听

This disturbing behavior has wreaked havoc on campuses since Hamas' Oct. 7 attack against Israel 鈥 and Israel's subsequent and ongoing retaliation in its defense.听

It鈥檚 worth questioning what is motivating so many young people to embrace such blatant antisemitism 鈥 .听

Protesters gather at Columbia University on the night of April 29, 2024. More than 100 people were arrested the following night at Columbia鈥檚 main campus after a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupied the university's Hamilton Hall.

One of the common denominators seems to be the ideology of 鈥渄iversity, equity and inclusion鈥 (DEI) .听

These ugly protests have shed light on what is going on at our 91影视 campuses 鈥 and what college students have been learning.听

Luckily, states legislatures and governors are pushing back against DEI. And some universities are even revisiting DEI policies on their own accord.听

This Michigan university admits DEI isn't working聽

I was pleasantly surprised recently when I read an op-ed by the president and three faculty at a public university in Michigan admitting that diversity, equity and inclusion programs have not lived up to the hype 鈥 and may have directly contributed to the antisemitism witnessed on so many campuses.听

鈥淐onceptions of DEI that prioritize some identities over others end up promoting simplistic and sometimes harmful approaches to complex social problems,鈥 wrote Oakland University President Ora Pescovitz and the faculty leaders. 鈥淪uch identity-based accounts of diversity attempt to divide people into binary categories of racist versus anti-racist, white versus non-white, oppressor versus oppressed or colonizer versus colonized.鈥

Pro-Palestinian supporters from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) rally at MIT at an encampment for Palestine at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., on April 22, 2024.

While they would rather "mend not end" DEI, what the university leaders describe gets to the heart of what is happening on college campuses.

To those who have paid close attention to DEI鈥檚 growth on the quad, the anti-Israel sentiments on 91影视 campuses aren鈥檛 surprising.

Biden's blunder:Biden has his own 'fine people on both sides' moment. He's as wrong now as Trump was then.

Timothy Minella, senior fellow at the Arizona-based , says the antisemitism on display is directly correlated to the adoption of this flawed diversity agenda.听

鈥淓specially the recent encampments at several prominent universities, to me they demonstrate the logical end point of this ideology, that divides the world into the oppressed and the oppressors,鈥 Minella told me recently.鈥淎nd I think we see that play out in these anti-Israel protests, where through this very flawed analysis, Jews become oppressors because they are allegedly in close proximity to so-called whiteness.鈥

States 鈥 and some schools 鈥 are kissing DEI goodbye

Minella and the Goldwater Institute are . And they鈥檙e getting results.

Failing the test:Using the SAT, ACT in college admissions isn't 'racist.' What else has the left got wrong?

Since last year, 85 bills combating DEI have been introduced, . So far, at least 14 have become law, and many others are close to the finish line.

These bills target DEI in different ways, from seeking to eliminate the programs and departments altogether to specifically banning and .听

Gov. DeSantis announces plans to defund DEI programs

and Texas are the largest states to lead the charge against these programs, but North Carolina, North Dakota, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Alabama.

Some universities are opting to drop DEI requirements on their own.听For instance, last week, Harvard University鈥檚 Faculty of Arts and Sciences announced it will 鈥渄iversity, inclusion, and belonging鈥 statements for faculty hiring.听

Change at Harvard:With Claudine Gay out, Harvard can double down on DEI or embrace freedom and true diversity

Similarly, last month, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said it .

That鈥檚 progress, and a win for free speech. Compelling future faculty or students to profess adherence to a set of controversial beliefs goes against the very nature of higher education.听

That鈥檚 true of DEI policies in general, as they prioritize groups and not the individual.

鈥淚 think forcing people into these boxes is antithetical to what higher education is supposed to be about, which is the free exchange of ideas,鈥 Minella said. 鈥淚 do think it鈥檚 harmful to the educational purpose of universities.鈥

As the rise of campus antisemitism has demonstrated, the sooner 91影视 universities can extricate themselves from this dangerous bureaucracy, the better.听

Ingrid Jacques is a columnist at 91影视. Contact her at ijacques@usatoday.com or on X, formerly Twitter: @.

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