Rutgers Professor Warns: ‘No Ability to Make Meaningful Progress’ without DEI Offices on Every Campus

A Rutgers University professor has warned that colleges will not have the “ability to make meaningful progress” unless all campuses have Marxism-rooted “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) offices for students.

On Thursday, Harvard University held a panel featuring scholars and academics to discuss advancing the far-left DEI agenda in education.

Specifically, university representatives discussed the role of DEI bureaucracy on college campuses.

“Four academics agreed it was important to protect diversity in higher education, but disagreed over whether universities’ diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives clash with academic freedom during a Thursday panel hosted by the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics,” according to the student news outlet Harvard Crimson.

The event featured Ilya Shapiro, director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; Jeannie Suk Gersen, a Harvard Law School professor; Amna Khalid, a Carleton College history professor; and Stacy Hawkins, a professor at Rutgers Law School. Christopher Robichaud, a Harvard Kennedy School lecturer, moderated the discussion.

Khalid began the debate by warning that pushing DEI onto students is playing into the globalist corporatocracy agenda.

She continued by calling current DEI efforts “DEI, Inc.”

Khalid continued by describing DEI as a matter in which “diversity is a customer service issue, education is the product, and students are customers.”

“It’s underscored by the notion of harm and that students somehow need to be protected from harm, as if we entered our classrooms dying to harm our students,” she went on to say.

Rutgers University law professor Stacy Hawkins pushed back against Khalid’s criticisms of DEI initiatives,

Hawkins argued that it is contradictory to oppose the “operationalization and the professionalization of diversity” while pursuing it as a goal, The Crimson reported.

“We have wanted diversity, we have wanted equality in this country — in our institutions — for a very long time, and we have not managed to succeed in achieving it,” Hawkins said.

She continued, “And one of the problems is that there was not sufficient structure and accountability around that goal.”

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“And so, without the structure and accountability that Jeannie and Amna and, I guess, Ilya as well are complaining about, we would have no ability to make meaningful progress,” Hawkins added.

While two other panelists slammed DEI efforts during the event, Hawkins was the only panelist to defend DEI.

Gersen countered Hawkins by noting the racial demographic of Harvard’s student population as evidence for progress in diversity in higher education.

“She said that while this increased diversity should encourage ‘friction’ and healthy debate, she found DEI policies have made students more hesitant to freely express themselves in the classroom,” the Crimson reported.

Gerson touted the importance of requiring her students to take opposing stances on legal debates.

“What they’re doing with cases like that is dismissing them off the bat because of academic freedom, and saying this does not actually violate the rules of our school, it does not violate anti-discrimination policies, it does not violate any rules by which people are bound,” Gersen said.

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research’s Shapiro said that DEI initiatives have “led to censorship or a culture of self-censorship — which, in turn, harm academic freedom.”

Per the Crimson, he added that DEI is “almost always wrong in the sense that it subverts classical liberal principles of the academic mission of open inquiry and truth-seeking and knowledge creation and research and debating ideas and what-have-you.”

The panel came amid state legislatures making moves to restrict DEI measures on college campuses and the public sector.

The Florida Board of Governors passed the regulation in January limiting public funding for DEI.

Florida defines DEI efforts as “any program, campus activity, or policy that classifies individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation and promotes differential or preferential treatment of individuals on the basis of such classification.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has made halting DEI a cornerstone of his efforts to overhaul education in the state, wrote on X: “Florida is where DEI goes to die.”

Furthermore, Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill into law in January that prohibits diversity training, hiring, and inclusion programs at universities and in state government.

The move added Utah to a growing list of states to ban such programs.

Texas has also cracked down on DEI efforts in the state.

DEI campus opponents like DeSantis have increasingly warned that DEI programs are a form of leftist discrimination that seeks to indoctrinate students with far-left ideology.

READ MORE – Fire Department’s Marxist DEI Training Halted after White Firefighters Told They Cause ‘Racial Harm’

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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