The intellectual and moral fraud that is "diversity" is on display in this job ad from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, is looking for a one-year sabbatical replacement in the history of the Islamic World.
One might expect such an ad to delineate desired academic and intellectual qualifications for the position: areas of specialization and sub-fields, language facility, and other professional achievements that would indicate competence in the field. The ad does note that Whitman prefers someone with teaching experience and a Ph.D.
But most of the ink is spilled on academese that, decoded, signals to the reader that this position is reserved for, or at least very favorably disposed toward, minority applicants:
Whitman College wishes to reinforce its commitment to enhance diversity, broadly defined, recognizing that to provide a diverse learning environment is to prepare students for personal and professional success in an increasingly multicultural and global society. In their application, candidates are strongly encouraged to address their potential contribution to the promotion of diversity, a core value of the Whitman College community.
Diversity as an end in itself is not merely philosophically absurd: it is part of the bureaucratic machinery that academics have created to ensure ideological conformity among successful job applicants. By omitting, at the beginning of the search, applicants whose skin color or ethnicity fails the diversity test, hiring committees shrink the applicant pool considerably, thereby reducing the intellectual diversity of potential hires. In Middle East studies, demand for diversity favors applicants from the Middle East, since they represent both a minority among the whole faculty and a majority within the field. In practice, this has played a key role in the radicalization of the field over the past generation, as more apolitical Western scholars--the much-maligned Orientalists--have been replaced with professors who have brought with them to America the ethnic, political, and religious conflicts of their homelands.
Moreover, fulfilling the demands of the Whitman ad, particularly a candidate's "potential contribution to the promotion of diversity," can be spun as providing the intellectual diversity that critics often contend is missing from academe. This is achieved by taking stances that are at odds with those held by most Americans beyond the university: opposition to the war against Islamist terrorists, routine condemnation of American interests abroad, and a worldview that holds Israel responsible for the Middle East's ills all give the academics who hold them a patina of rebelliousness, and hence of achieving the goal of intellectual diversity. That such poses ignore the stultifying orthodoxy within university departments is an inconvenient fact conveniently ignored by professors themselves. It's also why the denizens of Whitman will almost certainly fill the advertised position with someone who will only reinforce the intellectual status quo.