Rob Oden, the current president of Carleton College, my undergraduate alma mater, recently emailed the college`s diversity news to all of us alumni. Here is the core of his glad tidings:
Our campus community has been working on initiatives and challenges related to diversity for some time, with alumni input. In 2006, Carleton`s Diversity Initiative Group (DIG) composed a Diversity Statement for the College, a statement those of us on DIG knew we needed in order to shape a plan to most proactively address the diversity-related challenges and opportunities on our campus. Last year, DIG decided that before we determined where we needed to go, we needed to learn where we are. This led to the hiring of diversity consultant Professor Sue Rankin, who worked with DIG to create and administer a survey to inform us on where we are today.
When I was a student there, such a statement would have been classified as "fatuous blather," but I understand that for today`s Carleton, this is serious business. Indeed, googling the college`s website yields 3,450 hits for "diversity." I wrote back to Oden (addressing him by his first name, since if he`s my elder, it can`t be by much):
Rob, The content of your message is a perfect example of why I stopped contributing to Carleton about seven years ago. I`d previously stopped contributing to Grinnell for the exact same reason. This was after I`d steadily contributed — at non-trivial levels — to both colleges ever since my graduation. (I attended Grinnell for a year and a half before transferring to Carleton and graduating, on-time, in 1970. I loved both places. Now I would steer prospective students away from both.)
Later, I similarly cut off the University of Chicago, my graduate school (PhD, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1978), when they submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of never-ending affirmative action in the University of Michigan cases of 2003.
These days, I contribute, instead, to Hillsdale, although I`ve never even been near its campus. I contribute to Hillsdale because their focus is on educating about Western civilization — and for its survival. Carleton and Grinnell, in contrast, are founts of diversity-babble, which really amounts to a world view based on the devil theory of white people. In doing this, Carleton and Grinnell (along with the thousands of others peas-in-a-pod that make up 99.9% of the contemporary American academy) are busily helping destroy the society and culture that made their existences possible.
Given the seemingly unreflective content of your message to us alums, this may be a forlorn gesture. But I place before you a brief piece by Thomas Sowell, one of our towering public intellectuals (and, in case you didn`t know this, he`s black) and a longer one by Jared Taylor (less known than Sowell) that both speak to this diversity mania in which you`ve allowed yourself to be enmeshed.
Read those and then let`s talk.
So far Oden is keeping his counsel. But in the meantime I`ve checked out the diversity statistics for Grinnell (2,760 hits) and Hillsdale (151 hits). Besides their relative scarcity, it`s clear that many of those Hillsdale hits are for diversity-skepticism and, thus, quite in keeping with a paragraph out of a recent fund-raising letter to us donors from college president (and Claremont Institute co-founder) Larry Arnn:
Rest assured that we do not follow the trends promoted by the Department of Education (...). We do not teach multiculturalism or global citizenship. Hillsdale College teaches the classical liberal arts. We require students to enroll in a core grouping of courses that covers the Great Books, Western civilization, American heritage, the natural sciences, and the U.S. Constitution. Hillsdale is one of the few non-military colleges in the nation to require a semester of study on the Constitution.
How does Hillsdale escape ethnic bean-counting and the concomitant diversity mania? Along with a few other intrepid colleges, Hillsdale accepts no federal or state funds — no research or facilities grants, no student scholarships or loans, no nothing — which explains Arnn`s reference above to the federal Department of Education. As a result, the college has to raise the scratch to cover all its operating needs, all on its own. Presumably there are many "friends of Hillsdale" like myself — "refugee" alumni from other colleges — who help out a little or a lot. (The only way the feds can get back at Hillsdale would be to make donations non tax-deductible. I know this is a possibility that concerns the college.)
Whether or not you throw over your own alma mater and support Hillsdale, by all means sign up for a free subscription (by mail) to Imprimis, the monthly digest of speeches delivered in the course of the college`s various programs. For samples of what you`ll find in Imprimis, check out a couple of archived issues on Hillsdale`s website. Here`s John Marini, writing about Roosevelt’s or Reagan’s America? A Time for Choosing, and here`s Edward Erler on Birthright Citizenship and Dual Citizenship: Harbingers of Administrative Tyranny.