Virginia Tech Forces Identity Politics On Engineering Professors Seeking Promotions

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University — commonly known as Virginia Tech — is demanding that all professors seeking promotions or tenure demonstrate their dedication to identity politics.

The taxapyer-funded school’s tenure and promotion guidelines for this year, dated June 8, mention many things you might expect to see: research and teaching interests, publications, education, awards and the like.

Additionally, there is considerable discussion of “inclusive practices and diversity initiatives,” which Virginia Tech professors who desire promotions or tenure must demonstrate.

“Candidates should include a list of activities that promote or contribute to inclusive teaching, research, outreach, and service,” the guidelines say.

For examples of “service that promotes diversity and inclusion” there is a link to a webpage entitled “Reporting Diversity Related Activities” from Virginia’s Tech’s office of the senior vice president and provost.

The many examples of diversity activities include “special efforts for individuals from underrepresented groups” and “self-education, increasing your own awareness.”

Examples of “special efforts for individuals from underrepresented groups” include “providing special support to international, women or minority doctoral students” and “acting as an informal advisor to students of color or women who are not your formal advisees.”

Officials at Virginia Tech have been attempting to elevate the political principles of diversity and inclusiveness at the engineering and science-heavy school for many years now, notes Campus Reform.

Seven years ago, for example, the provost’s office issued a directive ordering professors who seek tenure “to do a better job of participating in and documenting their involvement in diversity initiatives.”

The Richmond Times-Dispatch, the main newspaper in Virginia’s state capital, took note of the political nature of the provost’s decree.

“[I]magine for a moment the reaction if Tech officials insisted that candidates for promotion and tenure do a better job of documenting their involvement in patriotism initiatives,” a 2009 Times-Dispatch editorial analogized. “Imagine the school encouraging professors to attend flagpole rallies, to organize Fourth of July parades, or to include in their syllabi writers who celebrate the robust virtues of Americanism.”

School officials ultimately backed down from the 2009 attempt at forcing the politics of diversity and inclusivity on faculty members, Campus Reform notes.

Beyond its clumsy efforts at politicizing tenure, Virginia Tech is also known as the last place in the United States to employ world-class Israel hater Steven Salaita.

Salaita, an English professor, left Virginia Tech last year for a job offer from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign but lost the Illinois offer because he was an obnoxious, obscenity-hurling, black-belt jerk on Twitter. (RELATED: ‘Zionist’-Hating Professor Who Tweeted Himself Out Of A Job Sues DONORS For Not Liking Him)

Salaita, who called “Zionists” “partly responsible when people say antisemitic [sic] shit in response to Israeli terror” on Twitter, eventually landed at the American University of Beirut. (RELATED: Bizarro Professor Who Tweeted Himself Out Of A Job Now Calls Civility ‘REPRESSIVE’)

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