In the fall of 2021, the University of Oregon psychology department petitioned the school to hire an “Assistant Professor with a dedicated research focus in diversity/inclusion-related . . . clinical issues.” The department claimed that its proposal was consistent with the “campus-wide initiative towards enhancing the diversity-related research and teaching” and the “university’s core values,” among which were “diversity and seek[ing] to foster equity and inclusion.”

The psychology department was right—diversity, equity, and inclusion are “core values” at the University of Oregon. According to a trove of documents obtained by the National Association of Scholars, Oregon staff are integrating DEI criteria into their hiring protocols and seeking to “indoctrinate” new hires in diversity ideology.

The University of Oregon requires all departments seeking to hire new faculty to create an “Institutional Hiring Proposal” to defend the need for a new employee. A template is provided, with a series of questions about the proposed position. Notably, the template requires every department to address concerns related to “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” The template’s DEI section first asks departments to review the relevant “Field Availability Estimates” data, which breaks down the gender and racial demographics of terminal-degree holders in each academic subject. Conducting an FAE review, according to the provost’s office, is an “[e]xpected [p]ractice” to ensure “strong, diverse applicant pools.” After looking at that data, the template prompts departments to outline the “robust active recruitment work” they intend to pursue in furtherance of DEI goals, and how they will overcome “potential challenges.”

These prompts apparently inspired departments to consider the racial composition of potential applicant pools when proposing new roles. The psychology department, for example, highlighted how it had sought to hire within “the specific subfield of clinical diversity science,” since that specialty would be more likely to “attract excellent minority candidates.” The sociology department similarly noted that it would “target recruitment efforts heavily in the subfield of environmental/public health with the goal of [attracting] a more racially inclusive applicant pool.” Remarkably, the indigenous studies department lamented that the university “doesn’t have a single tenure-track faculty member who is Pacific Islander,” and noted that its new proposed faculty role “would give us an opportunity to fill a glaring need.”

Other departments proposed hiring only applicants who adhere to DEI ideology. The philosophy department, for example, sought an assistant professor who “specializ[ed] in Latin/x or Decolonial perspectives.” The Holocaust studies department declared that a “successful candidate . . . must possess a record of research, teaching, and service that speaks to the UO’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.” The natural sciences department even reassured the university that it seeks to “indoctrinate new hires” in the “value of instruction that is inclusive.”

The university itself, according to the template, requires all departments pursuing new hires to “request that candidates submit a diversity, equity, inclusion statement.” Four departments indicated on their response forms that they would use the UC Berkeley rubric to assess applicants’ DEI statements. That rubric penalizes faculty who say that they plan to “treat everyone the same” or who criticize so-called “affinity groups.” 

Other departments created their own standards to evaluate applicants’ DEI statements. The biomedical data science department, for instance, said that it would judge candidates based on, among other things, their interest in diversity issues and their past “outreach that affects members of under-represented groups.” Failing to meet those standards, the department stated, would be considered a “negative” against applicants.

It’s hard to imagine any department at the University of Oregon hiring a candidate who failed to demonstrate a thorough commitment to DEI. Between the ideological litmus tests and apparent racial bias in hiring, these documents reveal the depths of the university’s bias. Unless school leadership charts a new course, expect Oregon’s flagship university to fall further from the ideals on which it was founded.

Photo by: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images


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