Experts Testify on Dangers of DEI at House Education Hearing

Dr. Stanley Goldfarb testifies at the House Education and Workforce Committee hearing, March 7, 2024 (YouTube)
March 7, 2024

Expert witnesses on Thursday condemned Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs on college campuses during a hearing held by the Republican-led House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development. 

The hearing, titled "Divisive, Excessive, Ineffective: The Real Impact of DEI on College Campuses," was led by Rep. Burgess Owens (R., Utah), who in his opening statement said the DEI agenda has been "a long-growing cancer that resides at the heart of American academic institutions."

"DEI bureaucracies are hired not only to control conversations but to also stifle free speech and open discourse while asserting leverage on every aspect of university management—personnel, curriculum, policy, and college admissions," Owens said. 

One of the experts who testified against DEI was Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, former University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine associate dean and father of Washington Free Beacon chairman Michael Goldfarb. "I’ve had a front-row seat to the corruption of medical education," Dr. Goldfarb said. "Precious classroom and clinical time is now devoted to issues such as climate change, homelessness, policing, and other social issues that doctors cannot change." 

Medical students at American universities are now learning about "intersectionality, oppression, colonization, and white supremacy among other core DEI topics," while faculty and staff at medical schools are routinely required to sign DEI loyalty oaths, according to Stanley’s testimony. "Once identity politics takes over, then one of the natural consequences is divisiveness and antagonism between groups because now we’re putting people into these groups," Stanley said. 

Two other experts, Dr. Jay Greene and Dr. Erec Smith, corroborated Stanley’s testimony. Greene, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said DEI "advance[s] a worldview that undermines diversity, promotes exclusion, and opposes the equal treatment of individuals based on merit." He added that American universities on average employ as many as 45 bureaucrats in their DEI programs, which "stifle inquiry and end debate with the ostensible purpose of protecting marginalized populations."

Meanwhile, Smith, a research fellow at the Cato Institute, accused DEI of not fighting, but perpetuating, racism. "DEI is harmful to the very people it claims to help; it stifles agency and, paradoxically, is decidedly anti-black," Smith said, noting that DEI proponents want to tell black students that "the world is out to get them, that the only way to succeed is to betray your race, that there is only one way to be black, and that way is undergirded by ever-present anger, victimhood, and misery."

The House hearing came amid growing scrutiny in recent months over university DEI programs, which have been under pressure from "legal, economic and geopolitical forces," according to the Wall Street Journal. Two chief DEI officers—Sherri Ann Charleston of Harvard University and Alade McKen of Columbia University's medical school—were also caught plagiarizing extensively in their academic work.  

Published under: DEI , Harvard , UPENN