Stanford University, its campus lined with redwoods and eucalyptus trees, has long been known as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. But in recent years, another ideological force has taken root: “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” a euphemism for left-wing racialism. DEI, in fact, has conquered Stanford.

I have obtained exclusive analysis from inside Stanford outlining the incredible size and scope of the university’s DEI bureaucracy. According to this analysis, Stanford employs at least 177 full-time DEI bureaucrats, spread throughout the university’s various divisions and departments.

Stanford’s DEI mandate is the same as those of other universities: advance the principles of left-wing racialism, hire faculty and admit students according to identity, and suppress dissent on campus under the guise of fostering a “culture of inclusion” and “protected identity harm reporting.”

Julia Steinberg, an undergraduate and journalist at the Stanford Review, believes that DEI is a “black box” system of rewards and punishments for enforcing ideological adherence. “I’ve observed as students are reported by their peers for constitutionally protected speech,” and professors are denounced and accused of discrimination by other students “for the crime of not being PC enough in their research or in class,” she says. “Who fits or doesn’t fit into the DEI caste system determines a student or professor’s summary judgement.”

DEI’s growth at Stanford has been fast. In 2021, the Heritage Foundation counted 80 DEI officials at the university. That number has more than doubled since then.

Sophie Fujiwara, a recent graduate, explains that DEI has become “unavoidable” for students, with “mandatory classes” and “university-sponsored activities.” Left-wing students increasingly believed that this wasn’t enough. Following the George Floyd revolution of 2020, these students “demanded more initiatives and funding from the university for DEI-related subjects.”

Stanford’s DEI initiatives are not limited to humanities departments or race and gender studies. The highest concentration is in Stanford’s medical school, which has at least 46 diversity officials. A central DEI administration is led by chief DEI officer Joyce Sackey, with sub-departments throughout the medical school. Pediatrics, biosciences, and other specialties all have their own commissars embedded in the structure.

In the sciences, DEI policies have advocated explicit race and sex discrimination in pursuit of “diversity.” The physics department, for example, has committed to a DEI plan with a mandate to “increase the diversity of the physics faculty,” which, in practice, means reducing the number of white and Asian men. Administrators are told to boost the representation of “underrepresented groups,” or “URGs,” through a variety of discriminatory programs and filters.

Ivan Marinovic, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, says that DEI programs have had a disastrous impact on campus. He describes DEI as a “Trojan horse ideology” that undermines “equality before the law, freedom of expression, and due process.”

Given Stanford’s current trajectory, DEI will likely keep growing. At each step, it will degrade the quality of scholarship and academic rigor. The question is whether dissenters—professors, students, and alumni who reject the ideological capture of the university—will have enough power to dislodge more than 100 full-time bureaucrats. Stanford’s new interim president, Richard Saller, was hired in part to moderate ideological influence on campus. But according to sources familiar with Saller in his previous role as dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, he probably lacks the strength to push back against DEI.

The fight ahead will be tough. As it has been before, Stanford may once again serve as a leading indicator of where American higher education is going.

Photo by David Madison/Getty Images


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