Want tenure? You better pass the “Diversity” and “Inclusion” litmus test.

National Association of Scholars reports.

“Diversity” and “Inclusion” Litmus Tests for Tenure

When a faculty member goes up for promotion and tenure, he prepares to have his whole academic career put under the microscope. That’s appropriate for the prospect of lifetime job security and the commitment that a college or university is being asked to make.

Though the university is most interested in the candidate’s teaching and scholarship, it is common to inquire into whether he has also proven his devotion to the institution, the community, and the profession in non-academic ways. Has he given his free time to act as an advisor to a student organization? Has he served on a faculty committee or played a leadership role in his department? Has he led any university-sponsored events? Has he provided expert testimony? These extra activities fall under the category commonly called “service” in promotion and tenure dossier guidelines. Examples could also include an art professor advising a museum, a music professor playing in public concerts, or an anthropologist working with a local organization to protect indigenous rights. Colleges generally weigh teaching and research as more important, but “service” can play a significant role.

These are areas that universities should rightly take into consideration when weighing whether to make a person more centrally part of its core faculty. What is outside the realm of relevant criteria, however, are ideological litmus tests, which violate academic freedom and freedom of conscience. “Service” can’t be used to favor Democrats over Republicans (or vice versa); omnivores over vegetarians; pacifists over NRA members; or proponents of a gold standard over stalwarts of the Federal Reserve. The list of possible litmus tests is inexhaustible. But the list of actual litmus tests currently used by universities is pretty short.
There is now one in place at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). The test is for “diversity” and its close companion “inclusion,” both of which take up significant real estate in the university’s newly updated 2015-2016 promotion and tenure dossier guidelines.