CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The University of North Carolina (UNC) moved against encroaching woke culture and voted to ban diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) statements and politically preferential hiring.
UNC voted to ban DEI statements and compelled speech from admission, hiring, promotion and tenure at its Board of Governors meeting Thursday.
The board stated the university “shall neither solicit nor require an employee or applicant for academic admission or employment to affirmatively ascribe to or opine about beliefs, affiliations, ideals, or principles regarding matters of contemporary political debate or social action as a condition to admission, employment, or professional advancement,” according to the resolution. An employee or applicant also can’t “be solicited or required to describe his or her actions in support of, or in opposition to, such beliefs, affiliations, ideals, or principles.”
“Practices prohibited here include but are not limited to solicitations or requirements for statements of commitment to particular views on matters of contemporary political debate or social action contained on applications or qualifications for admission or employment included as criteria for analysis of an employee’s career progression.”
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Kenny Xu, President of Color Us United, which advocates for a race blind society told Fox News Digital that his organization has been leading a campaign to remove DEI from medical education practice, but he believes the move by UNC will have implications for higher education across the country.
“We believe in a race blind, meritocratic society with high standards and that’s what has traditionally produced excellence in the United States,” Xu told Fox News Digital. “When we saw wokeness and DEI infiltrating the medical profession, that’s when we became concerned because medicine is the one place where everybody knows, liberals, conservatives, independents, that you need the most qualified doctor to get the best outcome.”
“When diversity, equity and inclusion says ‘No, you need doctors of a certain race’ or ‘No, we need to be teaching things from the lens of social justice rather than the biological practice of medicine,’ that’s when we got concerned,” he added.
Color Us United wrote a petition to get the Dean of the UNC Medical School to denounce DEI, which required diversity statements in the hiring and promotion process.
The medical school’s Guidelines for Appointment, Promotion and Tenure (APT) previously declared that “A statement for each area is required as part of the C.V.” and “should outline depth and breadth of efforts in each area, including but not limited to impact of work, philosophy and style, team-based projects, and mentee interactions.”
Dr. Nche Zama, MD, PhD, a Harvard-educated cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon who also ran for Pennsylvania governor in 2022, described the move by the UNC board as a “pivotal decision” that will be “applauded by some and rejected by others.”
“In the final analysis, it is a decision that is in the best interest of all our children who will come to appreciate that EXCELLENCE (not phenotypes or ethnicity) should be the ultimate standard in their lives,” he told Fox News Digital.
“The catastrophic failures in our educational system are predicated in many ways on a decades-old absence of a banner of excellence in the collective and individual learning experiences of many of our children who sadly, live in a cultural milieu that fosters a diabolically pervasive psychology, promoting self-hate, entitlement, and mediocre aspirations,” he added.
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He said he believes this education climate has “ushered in the recent cataclysmic push for quick-fix solutions in the guise of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, along with an antiquated time-tested placebo called affirmative action, instead of designing sustainable solutions that bring sustainable value.”
Earlier this month, UNC announced its plan to combat woke ideology on its campus with a new School Civic Life and Leadership School that a board member described as a way to “level” the playing field for discourse on campus.
Trustee Marty Kotis said that “when one side is represented and the other side is suddenly allowed to speak up, it may seem like we’re taking aim – but really we’re just trying to create a level playing field.”
“We are working to support a culture of respect, debate, and discovery. It won’t be easy and will often feel simply uncomfortable,” Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said in a message announcing the school. Yet these are the skills our students, and we as citizens, need to be stewards of our democracy.”