New York professor to resign from psychology society over ‘antiracism’ requirements
'[T]hese mandatory statements force many academics to betray their quasi-fiduciary duty to the truth by spinning, twisting, or otherwise inventing some tenuous connection to diversity,' Haidt wrote.
Haidt stated he would resign his position 'at the end of this year, when my membership dues run out' if the new policy remained in place.
New York University’s Stern School of Business social psychologist Jonathan Haidt recently announced his upcoming resignation from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) due to the organization's new diversity, equity, and inclusion policy.
In an article for Heterodox Academy, Haidt explained that in order for him to present research at the SPSP Annual Convention in 2023, he would have to “submit a statement explaining ‘whether and how this submission advances the equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals of SPSP’” per the new policy.
The co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind acknowledged that diversity was not a new phenomenon at SPSP but had not “objected publicly” despite believing “[m]ost academic work has nothing to do with diversity.”
“[T]hese mandatory statements force many academics to betray their quasi-fiduciary duty to the truth by spinning, twisting, or otherwise inventing some tenuous connection to diversity,” Haidt wrote.
In the article, Haidt admits the change in terms compelled him to criticize the new requirement.
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“The SPSP mandate, however, forced us all to do something more explicitly ideological. Note that the word diversity was dropped and replaced by anti-racism…so I knew that I could no longer stay silent,” Haidt said.
Haidt contacted the president of SPSP Laura King to protest the new requirement.
King replied that SPSP’s mission “should involve amplifying the voices of those who have historically been underrepresented in our field.”
Haidt agreed but felt the method did not accomplish the goal.
“That is a view I agree with: Diversity stated in that unobjectionable form can be a value of the organization,” Haidt argued. “But (like all values), I think it must not be raised to a second telos.”
King also told Haidt that she was “not super clear on why anti-racism is viewed as problematic.”
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After King made it clear that the new policy was here to stay, Haidt decided it was “time for [an] exit.”
“I cannot remain loyal to an organization that is changing its telos and asking its members to violate their quasi-fiduciary duties to the truth,” Haidt wrote. “I am especially dubious of the wisdom of making an academic organization more overtly political in its mission, especially in the midst of a raging culture war, when trust in universities is plummeting.”
Haidt concluded the article by stating he would resign his position “at the end of this year, when my membership dues run out” if the new policy remained in place.
Campus Reform contacted Haidt, King, SPSP, and the Stern School of Business. This article will be updated accordingly.
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