Dori: In `fight for the soul of UW,’ vote on diversity statement requirement for UW faculty fails

Jul 8, 2022, 4:44 PM

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

A faculty vote that would have required University of Washington professors seeking tenure or advancement to sign a statement supporting a uniform diversity, equity, and inclusion statement has failed – and at least one conservative professor calls the vote itself “a fight for the soul of UW.”

UW Professor of Atmospheric Science Cliff Mass told Friday’s Dori Monson Show listeners that the ballot issue earlier this month needed at least a two-thirds majority to pass. Instead, the employment requirement statement failed when nearly 40% of faculty either rejected it or abstained.

“If you wanted to be a full professor or advance in any way,” Mass told Dori, “the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion statement would have been a requirement. It also required faculty seeking advancement “demonstrate their progress” toward the signed commitment.”

On Dori’s show and in his own July 7 blog, Mass called this a “big agenda among some of the activist faculty and administrators.”

But instead of breaking down between liberal and conservative lines, Mass explained, the vote failed for an entirely different reason.

“The opposition was based on a strong belief that faculty should never be forced to subscribe to a certain political viewpoint,” Mass wrote.

In fact, Mass told Dori, many opponents considered the proposal “compelled speech – which is probably illegal.”

The professor compared this vote to anti-Community loyalty oaths that faculties were pressured to sign in the 1950s. Back then, he told Dori, “Some faculty got fired when they refused to do this. . . It was wrong then and it would have been wrong now if we did it again.”

In his blog, which tends to cover his expertise in weather issues, Mass called the vote “a fight for the soul of the UW.”

While faculty members who have already earned tenure might not have been as affected by this proposal, Mass said, voters reflected “a variety of political backgrounds. Generally, the faculty here are fairly left-leaning, I can assure you of that.”

But even those who are “left leaning in terms of their politics realized that this is wrong and against the essential American values of freedom of speech,” the professor explained.

Despite this vote’s outcome, Mass said, “This battle is not over. People who are listening to this – you have power. If people talk to the University of Washington folks (like the), many people are trying to send their kids here, I think it’s important that people make it clear from the outside that the University is the university of everyone in this state and that it can’t be politicized, and we all lose if it does it.”

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Dori Monson stage show...

MyNorthwest Staff

Watch: Dori Monson’s ‘What are the Odds?’ stage show

In 2019, Dori Monson hosted a stage show - 'What are the Odds?' - which introduced you to the people who helped shape his improbable career.

5 months ago

Dori Monson welcomes the Moose back to KIRO. Follow @

MyNorthwest Staff

A collection of the all-time best Dori Monson stories

With the passing of Dori Monson, a collection of some of his top stories to remember all the hard work Dori brought to Seattle.

5 months ago

Alaska, fishing...

KIRO Newsradio staff

Listen: Friends, colleagues offer tribute to KIRO Newsradio’s Dori Monson

All day Monday, KIRO Newsradio's John Curley talked to friends, news makers, and more in tribute to Dori Monson.

5 months ago

Dori Monson Shorecrest...

Dori Monson Show

How to support charities reflecting Dori Monson’s values, passions

In tribute to Dori Monson, learn more about how you can support these three charities which best reflect his values, passions, and advocacy.

5 months ago

Dori Monson Nicole Thompson...

MyNorthwest Staff

Broadcasters, politicians, coworkers and friends remember Dori Monson

Dori Monson, a longtime KIRO Newsradio host, passed away Saturday. He is remembered by public figures, broadcasters, coworkers, and listeners.

5 months ago

Dori Monson...

MyNorthwest Staff

Longtime KIRO Newsradio host Dori Monson dies at age 61

We are deeply saddened to announce Dori Monson's sudden passing on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at a Seattle hospital.

5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Dori: In `fight for the soul of UW,’ vote on diversity statement requirement for UW faculty fails