California Community Colleges Entertains an Illiberal Proposal to Require Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism for Employee Evaluation and Tenure Review

For Immediate Release

March 22, 2022

SAN DIEGO, CA – March 22, 2022- On March 21, 2021, the Governing Board at the California Community Colleges (CCC), the state-wide public higher education entity in charge of 116 community colleges, held a public meeting to discuss a regulatory proposal on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA). Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) issues the following statement to condemn this divisive measure.

Proposed Regulatory Action Amending Title 5, of the California Code of Regulations” pushes California Community Colleges, the nation’s largest system of higher education, further toward ideological indoctrination and thought conformity. The plan requires the CCC Board to embed a set of minimum standards pertaining to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) competencies and criteria for the system’s employee evaluation and tenure review processes. Such invasive regulatory language, supported by the CCC Chancellor’s Office, is intended to create an inclusive and anti-racist institution where “equitable student outcomes” are advanced and strengthened.

CCC Governing Board and the Chancellor’s Office have narrow, politicized conceptions of diversity, inclusion and equity. By marrying DEIA with anti-racism, CCC has fully subscribed to all major tenets of critical race theory (CRT), including “intersectionality of social identities,” “multiple axes of oppression,” “minoritize(d) subordination,” and “equitable student outcomes.” Anti-racism aggressively advocates for discrimination in the name of equity and race-based non-solutions that assault our founding principle of equal, equal rights under the law and our long-standing value of meritocracy. The proposed changes are illiberal and toxic, serving only to further inflame racial divisions and cover up real problems in our education system.

The DEIA proposal would gravely jeopardize academic freedom for CCC’s over 57,000 academic staff and chill free speech on CCC campuses. In addition to mandating DEIA as a minimum standard for employee performance review, the plan would also empower education bureaucrats to thought-police college professors through ensuring “a uniform understanding of how to evaluate” and developing a comprehensive process for all local boards. If DEI is defined via only ideological and race-based lenses, what would happen to faculty members who are excellent educator with heterodox views? California Community Colleges serves 2.1 million students, many of whom come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Instead of helping CCC provide practical knowhow and career training for its diverse student body, this proposal would expedite the system’s path to counterproductive struggles and even narrower ideologies.

For the March 21 Board Meeting when the board had a first reading on the DEIA proposal, CFER submitted an opposing comment and urged the CCC Governing Board to reconsider its position.

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Contact:

Wenyuan Wu

wenyuan.wu@cferfoundation.org

(786) 393-8028

About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER): We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment. www.Cferfoundation.org.  

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