Ryan Mills, National Review, December 20, 2022
In the wake of reports that the University of Minnesota Medical School had incoming students pledge to promote anti-racism and uproot white supremacy, the medical school has now acknowledged that it rewards faculty for promoting its left-wing diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda, and that it actively advocates for legal changes around that agenda.
According to a survey that University of Minnesota Medical School leaders completed earlier this year, the school’s tenure and promotion policies “specifically reward faculty scholarship and service on diversity, inclusion, and equity topics.” The school also reported that it advocates “policies and/or legislation at a local, state, or federal level” related to its DEI mission, and that its institutional leaders are “active within local, regional, and national forums” to promote DEI, according to the survey, obtained by National Review.
The survey, which University of Minnesota Medical School leaders completed for the Association of American Medical Colleges, confirms that the Upper Midwest school has gone further than most other medical schools in pushing left-wing ideology on its staff, students, and community.
The University of Minnesota Medical School was one of 101 Association of American Medical College member schools that completed the survey. The survey is part of the association’s effort to “accelerate meaningful change that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion” in the academic medicine community, according to its November report, “The Power of Collective Action: Assessing and Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts at AAMC Medical Schools.”
The survey consisted of 89 questions in six content areas that measured schools’ commitment to and efforts around DEI. The schools answered “Yes,” “No,” or “Not Applicable,” to each of the 89 questions, also referred to as the association’s Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, and Equity (DICE) Inventory.
The University of Minnesota Medical School answered “Yes” to 94.4 percent of the questions, giving it one of the nation’s highest DICE Inventory scores. The association’s report did not list DICE scores for the schools, but it did report that only 28 of the 101 schools scored over 90 percent. Do No Harm is requesting surveys from all of the public schools that participated.
Among the things the University of Minnesota Medical School leaders acknowledged in the survey: The school collects demographic data on its senior leaders, faculty, staff, and students; has undertaken efforts to integrate DEI into the curriculum as a “key learning outcome”; has information systems “sufficiently flexible to accommodate a student’s self-identified gender identity”; tracks recruitment, hiring outcomes, and promotions by demographic group; sponsors DEI affinity groups for faculty and staff; has established spaces for “members of the campus community to gather with members of their own identity group”; and has a “staff service award” to recognize DEI contributions.
The University of Minnesota Medical School made headlines earlier this year when the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) reported that in August it held a woke “white coat ceremony” — a ceremony marking the beginning of a medical student’s clinical-health studies. During the ceremony, students committed to “uprooting the legacy and perpetuation of structural violence deeply embedded within the health care system.” They recognized “inequalities built by past and present traumas rooted in white supremacy, colonialism, the gender binary, ableism, and all forms of oppression.” They committed to “promoting a culture of anti-racism.” And they pledged to “honor all indigenous ways of healing that have been historically marginalized by Western medicine.”