DEI is dead! Long live DEI!

That, at least, is the situation now prevailing on America’s university campuses. Glance at recent news stories, and the story you’ll see is that, after decades of growth and four years of absolutely running wild, the diversity and inclusion industry is now in full retreat.

In a promising shift, both MIT and Harvard University have (for now) publicly abandoned the requirement that job applicants submit loathsome “diversity statements” as part of a job application. According to no less of an authority than the New York Times, this could be “The End for Mandatory D.E.I. Statements.”


“The switch has flipped as of now,” said Jeffrey S. Flier, the former dean of Harvard Medical School. Many professors on hiring committees, he said, may have been reluctant to voice their concerns about mandatory diversity statements before now. “But I think the large, silent majority of faculty who question the implementation of these programs and, in particular, these diversity statements — these people are being heard.”

The University of California system was the first to require diversity statements, starting about a decade ago. To supporters of the requirement, such statements were necessary if colleges wanted to build a welcoming environment for a diverse student population.

Today, some universities use the statements early on in the hiring process, to screen applicants before they are even granted an interview. Others consider the statements later, as applicants reach the final rounds.

When Harvard and M.I.T. asked their faculties about the worthiness of diversity statements, though, they found little support.

Further down the prestige ladder, at public colleges in Republican-controlled states, a similar shift is taking place. In these states, the push is coming from Republican lawmakers, who have belatedly recognized that DEI is a hiring program for people who hate them. In some states, lawmakers have ordered universities to abolish diversity statements, but the most on-the-ball initiatives have made sure to actually fire DEI staffers and shut down their departments. At the University of Texas-Austin, forty people lost their jobs after the school’s DEI office got the axe. At the University of Florida, officials fired 13 administrators in response to a DEI ban.

The signs are all promising, to say the least. But a crucial question remains: Will all of this work?

We can hope, of course. Harvard and MIT are both trendsetters for the schools just below them on the prestige ladder. Odds are good that, at least at America’s top schools and any public college in a red state, much-hated “diversity statements” will soon be a thing of the past.

But don’t get too thrilled just yet. Abolishing diversity statements is not the same thing as abolishing the diversity cult itself. The situation in academia is improving in some respects, but for now it remains a matter of tiny marginal improvements to a vast, utterly rotten edifice. The state of affairs in academia today is such that broad swathes of entire disciplines—not just fake DEI disciplines—have become utterly corroded by DEI.

The triumphalism over vanishing diversity statements operates on the assumption that said statements are a primary driver of anti-white and anti-male discrimination in academia. In reality, though, these statements are simply the product of a DEI-obsessed culture that exists on a deeper level. Mandatory statements during the hiring process make it easier and smoother to reject white male applicants, but the intent to reject them as often as possible was there long before. This discriminatory intent means that DEI (or woke, or race communist, pick your term of choice) priorities now pervade almost every aspect of the academic sausage-making process—to a degree that would shock most Americans. Unless this process is reformed (or, more likely, torn out at the root and replaced), universities will continue their downward spiral toward useless mediocrity.

Let’s take a look beneath the hood.

At the end of May, a post by Yale postdoctoral fellow David Austin Walsh went viral. In the thread, the hapless Walsh commented on his hopeless struggle to secure an academic job as a white male in a hiring market where his skin and sex place him into the untouchable caste.

Walsh himself deserves little sympathy. He himself chose to specialize in a fake DEI-motivated field studying the “far right,” “white supremacy,” and similar politicized garbage. In fact, Walsh’s DEI colleagues were scandalized that he, a white man, would dare complain about his difficulty finding a job in academia. The very act of a white man complaining would seem, at the very least, adjacent to racism. Walsh, being the good obedient dog that he is, apologized profusely to his colleagues for complaining about his inability to get a job and deleted the offending thread. When some right-wing veterans of academia reached out to offer support, Walsh published some of their private messages and then issued hysterical denunciations, in a sad attempt to regain favor with the same leftists who made his life a failed disaster in the first place.

Still, the sorry figure of Walsh merits comment and further explanation. Because while Walsh’s follow-up was pathetic, his original statement was true: He almost certainly really is being rejected in favor of less qualified diversity hires, over and over again. The ironic thing is that in the case of academic researchers of the “far right,” we welcome more qualified people like Walsh being passed over for jobs in favor of less qualified women and minorities—antagonistic joke fields should have the least qualified people possible! But we digress.

Look around, and academics admit the impact of affirmative action all the time. Here is an academic admitting that from 2020 to 2023, approximately 90 percent of faculty hires were done through a re-named DEI program.

Over in The Chronicle of Higher Education, University of Colorado-Boulder climate professor Matt Burgess recently begged his fellow scholars to be more forthright about what really happens in the hiring process:

An honest conversation about diversity hiring must start by acknowledging the basic fact that, whether we like it or not, diversity hiring has been happening on a large scale for the past decade (the period in which colleges shifted sharply to the left by many measures), especially in the years since the summer of 2020.

It is plainly obvious to anyone who has been a faculty member over the past decade that diversity hiring is widespread. In my experience, it is frankly discussed in private, by both its supporters and its opponents. I’ve also seen it up close, as both a job candidate and a faculty member.

When I was on the job market between 2016 and 2018, I had seven on-campus interviews. I was told during three of them (all in 2018) that my demographic identity was in some way disqualifying. Two of these interviews were at public colleges in California, where diversity hiring is clearly illegal under Proposition 209. In one case, a search-committee member, who I knew before the search, told me, “Half the search committee didn’t want to interview another white man, but we liked your diversity statement.” In the second case, the search was in a broad interdisciplinary area and I asked a member of the faculty if they had insights into what the department was looking for. Their answer: “Honestly? Women.”


Confidentiality prevents me from sharing anecdotes from the searching side, but my current dean told our college’s faculty senate in November 2022 (the minutes are supposed to be public record) that roughly 90 percent of the 20 most recent hires were made through a program called the Faculty Diversity Action Plan (FDAP), which started shortly after the murder of George Floyd. (Before publishing this, I reached out to the University of Colorado at Boulder’s director of issues management, Nicole Mueksch. She told me that the College of Arts and Sciences hired 22 faculty members who started between the fall of 2021 and the fall of 2022, of which 12 were funded by FDAP.) FDAP sets aside a large fraction of vacated positions for diversity hires, which were often targeted (i.e., a department proposed to hire a specific person rather than run a search). It was clear from the get-go that the intent of FDAP was to conduct diversity hiring.

Poke around where academics talk amongst themselves anonymously, and you’ll see the same story over and over. Over on the glorified ChatGPT training site Reddit, plenty of recent posts include scholars admitting what really goes on under the table or behind closed doors.

For more proof of all this, just look at some job postings.

In the field of U.S. history, for instance, roughly half of new tenure-track job postings are in some kind of racial identity category. Thirty-five percent of jobs are specifically in the field of African American History.

There is a consistent pattern in the examples above indicating an aggressive increase in DEI hires beginning in 2020. Perhaps this indicates something of a “George Floyd Effect” in academia.

Universities have also adapted the technique of “cluster hiring,” where multiple faculty are hired at the same time with a focus on particular specialties, to laser in on left-wing political goals. As explained by John Sailer at the National Association of Scholars, even without diversity statements, cluster hiring makes it easier to rig the system by centralizing the hiring process. Such centralization takes faculty hiring out of the hands of normal academic departments and puts it substantially in the hands of administrators, who are more likely to be obsessed with mindlessly hitting quotas.

What’s important about all these factors is that none of them will actually be mitigated by simply abolishing diversity statements. Rather, we see the truth: Diversity statements are simply a mechanism through which university administrators achieve a political goal: hiring fewer white men and more of everybody else. Academics openly admit to this goal, and they engineer it in many other ways.

But there’s another force coming into play. For years, the university DEI racket has been about finding ways to rig the application process to hire those who are less qualified. But especially since Floyd season began in 2020, there have also been changes to the entire academic ecosystem that are undermining the entire concept of being “better qualified.”

Consider academic publishing. One of the reasons it is typically easy to observe that DEI hires are less qualified than their melanin-deficient competitors is that they often fall substantially (or laughably) short on standard career thresholds for an aspiring scholar. For the regular public, the job of professors is to teach college classes, but in academia, the currency of success is published papers and other recognized research accomplishments. Getting a paper in a field’s top journal (such as Nature or Science for scientific endeavors) greatly improves an academic’s chances of being hired, and the conspicuous lack of such papers from many DEI hires drove home the farce of handing them prestigious jobs.

While battles amongst university faculty get the most attention, quietly behind the scenes, the editors of those top academic journals have been maneuvering to turn the very process of publication into a race- and sex-based spoils system. Right now, instead of being headed by sober-minded scholars, some of the most prestigious journals in the world are led by people who are, speaking charitably, mentally unwell.

The Lancet is one of the world’s most historically distinguished medical journals. At the start of June, the journal published a piece by editor-in-chief Richard Horton about how the Orange Man, Donald Trump, is very bad.

The Lancet:

The prospects for this failing system look bleak. Donald Trump again as US President? The far right making electoral gains across Europe? Murderous political leaders able to act with impunity? Purveyors of disinformation, working under the rubric of The Geneva Project, who proclaim that, “We, people of the world, no longer abide by the tyrannical rule of unelected global officials and their vision of the future”? A collection of anti-vaxxers, right-wing activists, and conspiracy theorists gathered at the World Health Assembly on June 1 to declare their opposition to WHO’s efforts to negotiate a pandemic agreement. What is the cause of this breakdown of belief in an international community? There are many possible culprits. Racism. Populism. Nationalism. But I think it was Dr Ghada who identified one especially important root cause: the loss of our humanity.

Elsewhere, Horton has endorsed “equity” as the unifying principle of the Lancet’s many sub-journals. In 2017, three whole years before Floyd-a-palooza, he wrote this:

Hate, racism, xenophobia, and terror will be hard to defeat. But medicine and public health can play a part. First, they must find their voice and join the public discussion. Second, they must put at the centre of their concern those who are most vulnerable in our societies, and use a political as well as a biomedical lens to interpret and understand their predicaments. Third, they must examine the accumulating body of evidence about community-specific, multisector, equity-oriented interventions that can make inroads into racism. Inequality does not hurt us equally. There can be neither health nor health equity while racism is tolerated.

Reading stuff like this, how likely do you think it is that Horton’s journal is perfectly meritocratic in which papers it accepts?

At other journals, there isn’t even a need to read between the lines. They will proudly tell you how biased they are. The American Political Science Review has historically been the top publication for, well, you can guess. In 2019, the publication selected a 12-person 2020–2024 editorial board that looked like this:

Substack blogger and academic refugee Chris Brunet of Karlstack described the board this way in 2022:

If I could describe this team in one word it would be: ragtag. They aren’t heavyweights in the field of political science… they are nobodies. One of them works at Yale and is respectable, I guess. The other 11 are scrubs.


EVERY ONE OF THE 12 is a scholar of gender or race. Fully seven of them are affiliated with departments of WOMEN, GENDER & SEXUALITY — the least rigorous and most pathetic disciplines in all of academia — rather than Political Science departments.

None of these women can code, and none of them can do advanced math. None of them can understand a vanilla difference-in-difference regression.


Of the 12, only 1 of them has actually published an article in the APSR prior to actually running APSR.

While the group may have been comically underqualified to run a journal, ideologically they were perfectly qualified for the 2020 moment. Even before George Floyd ate the fatal fentanyl lunch that shook America, the group came to power with a series of explicit promises to remake the journal along ideological lines.

For instance, one part of the process of accepting or rejecting academic papers is desk rejection—in short, editors at a journal reject a paper even before peer review on the grounds that a work is simply “not right” for a publication. One of the new regime’s promises was that, henceforth, desk rejection would only be administered to white men and no others. One wonders how this practice was even legal.

Overall, the group’s plan for running APSR mentioned some variant of “diversity” nearly 50 times across just 37 pages.

This group of editors finally vacated their posts at the start of June, and the new editorial team appears to be considerably better (for one, it actually has a few Y chromosomes). But still, consider the impact that the past 4 years might have on political science hiring for years to come. How many potentially worthy papers were thrown out by politically-minded editors with an axe to grind against the White Man? How many shoddy papers were waved through to boost diversity figures? Now, look to the future: The scholars who had trash papers waved through have become “more qualified” vis-à-vis their white male “desk rejected” competitors, and so they’ll have a leg up even in a world where diversity statements and other more direct interventions are banned.

Another area where the process can be rigged is in the realm of graduate student admissions. One professor who spoke with Revolver under conditions of anonymity described being told that he could only bring on a new Ph.D. student if that student were a coveted “person of color.” Ph.D. admissions are not nearly as scrutinized as undergraduate or professional program admissions, and so, once again, we see a hugely important realm that can be quietly manipulated toward political ends.

As long as such manipulation exists, changes like those recently made at Harvard and MIT will only mitigate the crisis, not solve it. DEI is not a problem that can be destroyed by telling people not to say it. It’s an ingrained problem that has to be rooted out by firing the people who propagated it and giving a clear legal path for those harmed by anti-white or anti-male discrimination.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has been tracking the “assault on DEI” emanating from red states, creating a hub page for tracking every bill introduced and how they fare. The page reveals an irritating trend: the most popular thing for bills to do is attack the most superficial elements of DEI. Banning mandatory DEI statements and mandatory DEI training is popular and indeed important. But fewer states attempt to take the more important steps, such as expressly banning all identity-based job preferences and abolishing DEI departments and job titles, to kill the problem at its root.

Going forward, these bolder steps will become the new “bare minimum.” It is time to build on recent victories against the scourge of DEI in our universities and attack the problem at its root. Don’t settle for the commissars having to do extra paperwork. Instead, make the commissars unemployed and let our universities once again become bastions of excellence and merit.