Education

State Senator Opposes A University Diversity Officer, But His Colleagues And The School Are Having None Of It

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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A Nebraska state senator received pushback from his Senate colleagues and the University of Nebraska after he criticized the school for hiring a diversity vice chancellor with a six-figure salary.

Nebraska State Republican Sen. Steve Erdman said hiring a vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion would antagonize members of the University of Nebraska community who did not subscribe to an “extremist progressive worldview,” reported The Washington Post.

“Favoring people by way of their genitalia, the color of their skin, and their sexual orientation is as much an insult as discriminating against them for these very same reasons,” Erdman said in a July letter to constituents. “To the contrary, I believe individuals should be favored in academia on the basis of their unique talents, abilities and aptitude for learning.”

He applauded the admission of botanist and inventor George Washington Carver into Iowa State Agricultural College on the basis of merit, citing Carver’s “unique interest in botany” and “uncanny ability to paint flowers.”

The senator argued that by hiring a diversity vice chancellor, the school would sacrifice expertise and talent in favor of racial diversity when evaluating candidates for faculty positions, as well as discriminate against certain members of its student body.

“The addition of a Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion also means that every word spoken by White Christian conservative males at the school will be excruciatingly scrutinized against the backdrop of the new Vice Chancellor’s extremist progressive worldview,” Erdman continued. “For instance, any student who dares to suggest that marriage should be defined as the union between a man and a woman will quickly find himself being beaten down by a torrent of LGBTQ complaints followed by psycho-analysis and reprogramming.”

The state senator reported that around 90 percent of feedback on his remarks that he received from his 36,000 constituents was favorable. But University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds condemned Erdman’s comments while speaking with WaPo.

“I was shocked and deeply saddened when I read the column,” Bounds said. “For any elected official to champion these kinds of dangerous views only serves to damage our great state and our ability to recruit and retain the top talent that will grow Nebraska for the future.”

Nebraska State Democrat Sens. Adam Morfeld and Anna Wishart also approved of the diversity vice-chancellor position, citing a Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce study showing that young professionals attached much significance to the values of diversity and inclusion.

Issues of racial diversity on campus hit a fever pitch in 2018 with the Justice and Education Departments nixing seven race-based admission documents in July.

An anti-affirmative action nonprofit is also suing Harvard University for discriminating against Asian-American applicants. (RELATED: Harvard Docked Asian American Applicants For Personality, Lawsuit Alleges)

That trial is set to commence in October.

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