Protect Faculty Free Speech and Viewpoint Diversity at the University of Washington

Protect Faculty Free Speech and Viewpoint Diversity at the University of Washington

42 have signed. Let’s get to 50!

Why this petition matters

A Proposed New EDI Requirement for Promotion and Tenure Would Undermine Faculty Freedom of Speech and Politicize the University of Washington

Freedom of speech, protection from forced political beliefs, and diversity of viewpoint are the cornerstones of faculty scholarship at any university.  Without protection from enforced social and political viewpoints, faculty scholarship becomes distorted and biased, and students are denied an environment in which ideas are questioned, tested, and evaluated.

The proposed legislation would profoundly undermine the teaching and learning environment at the University of Washington.

This legislation would require that any faculty member hoping for advancement would have to demonstrate concordance with and active participation in the current social movement for DEI: Diversity/Equity/and Inclusion.

The legislation represents compelled speech by a government entity, which is a direct violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

It would reduce diversity of thought and expression at the University of Washington by enforcing specific social beliefs and requiring a particular social viewpoint.

It would politicize the University of Washington by requiring allegiance to and propagation of the ideas favored by a partisan portion of the citizens of the State and nation.  For example, equity is a political slogan for equal outcomes of all groups, in contrast to equality of all individuals, a bedrock value of our free, democratic Republic.

The University of Washington attempted to dictate a political viewpoint once before, requiring an anti-communist loyalty oath during the late 1940s and early 1950s.  This requirement of political fealty is widely acknowledged as a terrible mistake and a stain on the proud reputation of our institution.  We should not repeat such a destructive error again.  In fact, the proposed DEI statement would be worse than the one-time loyalty oath of the 1950s, requiring support of a social doctrine several times in an academic career.

Practically, the DEI requirement is vague and without guiding metrics, and thus could be interpreted differently by varying units and vulnerable to excess and abuse.

As noted in the University of Chicago Kalven Report on University’s Role in Political and Social Action: 

The university …  is a community which cannot take collective action on the issues of the day without endangering the conditions for its existence and effectiveness. There is no mechanism by which it can reach a collective position without inhibiting that full freedom of dissent on which it thrives. It cannot insist that all its members favor a given view of social policy; if it takes collective action, therefore, it does so at the price of censuring any minority who do not agree with the view adopted.

If you agree with the above sentiments and oppose the DEI requirement for faculty advancement, please consider signing the online petition.

Thank you,

UW Faculty for Viewpoint Diversity and Academic Freedom.


Pedro Domingos
Jonathan Gallant
Stuart Reges
Yu-chin Chen
Jacob Wobbrock
Zed Trick
Falcon Knight
Vulture Bones
Zed Hawk
Adam Moore
Paul Malatesta
Mike Allen
Jeffrey Lipton
Regina Lionheart
E. Joe Sharkey
Adam Kaluba
Heidi Klee
Andrew Reifers
Entitled Ignoramus
Barry Minai
Peter Shalit
Chris Lott
Gerry Philipsen
Alina Pesenson
Mamie Peek
Ronald Stenkamp
David Dichek
Eric Leonard
Michael Flathers

42 have signed. Let’s get to 50!