Oh, Cana-DEI: DEI’s Infiltration of Science at the University of Toronto

Evan Poellinger | February 7, 2024
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An editorial published in the National Post highlights the extent of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ideology’s incorporation into Canada’s system of higher education, even in the science disciplines, potentially foreshadowing a more extensive implementation in the United States.

Leigh Revers, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto, wrote an article for the National Post about attending a town hall within his department that focused on DEI and subjected attendees to “90 minutes of taxpayer-subsidized blathering and predictable exchange of word-salad platitudes.”

Revers noted that the “blathering” proved useful, nonetheless, by “laying bare the unvarnished reality that even the scientists are captive to an irrational and incoherent ideology.”

The town hall discussed a departmental climate survey related to DEI, to which “only a single-digit percentage of our undergraduate students responded.” Ten percent of those who did respond claimed to be non-binary, while “a full quarter claimed membership of the 2SLGBTQIA+” demographic. In addition to revealing the skewed demographic makeup of a self-selected group within the department, Revers spoke about how the meeting examined the reception of a DEI-focused lab agreement in which, he alleged, “research professors make bilateral commitments to their graduate students codifying the ‘power’ hierarchy: demarcating what they expect from their graduate students, and what the students can expect of them in return.”

Revers also claimed that one of the slides for the town hall spoke of “Indigenous Science in the classroom.”

This same active incorporation of DEI ideology into academic practice is made manifest on the University of Toronto’s website. The university’s statement on human rights frames its work “in the context of a richly diverse society,” along with a “commitment to the values of equal opportunity, equity and social justice.”

Famed University of Toronto Professor Emeritus Dr. Jordan Peterson cited this same DEI framework as one of the primary factors that, ultimately, drove him to resign from his tenured position at the university in 2022. Instead of practicing a “commitment to freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression” as in its human rights statement, the university was concerned with being able “to meet diversity targets quickly enough.”

If the situation at the University of Toronto is, indeed, as Revers describes it, then this manifestation of entrenched DEI may represent a foreshadowing of what might come and, in some cases, has already come to colleges and universities in the United States.

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