by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
We wrote last November that MIT, our alma mater, “has caved repeatedly to the demands of ‘wokeness’, treating its students unfairly, compromising the quality of its staff, and damaging the institution and academic freedom at large.” As has happened across academia, total commitment to DEI—Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—has become an article of faith, with an aggressive program of minority admissions part of the canon. MIT’s most recent initiative involves new hiring and programs devoted to:
“understanding MIT’s Indigenous history and Native issues more broadly. Leadership in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (SHASS) and the History Section also helped us realize that it is past time for MIT to feature cutting-edge scholarship and educate our students in this rapidly expanding discipline.”
Why MIT— long renowned for its math, science, and engineering education and research, and currently ranked #2 among all U.S. colleges and universities—needs to expand its focus to the “rapidly expanding discipline” of Native American studies is unclear. Among other things, MIT gave us the Mark 14 gunsight used by U.S. Navy ships during WWII, prominent participants in the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bombs, strobe photography, and the elucidation of the genetic basis of sickle-cell anemia, so one would think that it could allow other institutions to become leaders in championing politically correct social goals. However, MIT’s soon-to-depart president, L. Rafael Reif, has become DEI-obsessed. A search of the MIT website reveals at least 70 professors and staff directly related to promoting DEI, including six new Assistant Deans for DEI who were hired in a single day.
“Equity,” which is at the heart of DEI, sounds a lot like “equality,” which causes many people to miss the critical difference. Equality means that each person is given equal opportunity, while equity means that outcomes must be equal, without regard for the capabilities or efforts of the individuals concerned.