UW crushing UO on performative wokeness metrics

From FIRE:

SEATTLE, July 13, 2022 — When Professor Stuart Reges challenged the University of Washington’s position on land acknowledgements, administrators punished him, undermining his academic freedom. Today, backed by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Reges sued the university to vindicate his First Amendment right to express his opinion — even if it differs from the party line.

Colleges increasingly promote land acknowledgment statements that recognize indigenous ties to the land on which a college sits. On a list of syllabus “best practices,” UW’s computer science department encourages professors to include such a statement and suggests using language developed by the university’s diversity office “to acknowledge that our campus sits on occupied land.” The fact that the statement could be adapted seemed clear — until Reges wrote one that administrators did not like.

“University administrators turned me into a pariah on campus because I included a land acknowledgment that wasn’t sufficiently progressive for them,” said Reges. “Land acknowledgments are performative acts of conformity that should be resisted, even if it lands you in court. I am pleased that FIRE joined with me to fight back against University of Washington’s illegal viewpoint discrimination.”

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16 Responses to UW crushing UO on performative wokeness metrics

  1. honestly! says:

    Of course, if UW really believes it sits on “occupied” land, it should vacate, or at least offer full compensation. A surtax on academuc salaries perhaps, or a hefty tuition surcharge. Of course, it is all just performative woke virtue signalling — total fakery — a way of showing the normies — at least until the normies wake up and haul out the guillotines — I write on Bastille Day — or at least cut off the dough — can’t happen soon enough.

    • Fishwrapper says:

      You mean along the lines of what University of California system is doing?

      Native students who are citizens of a federally or unrecognized tribe and California residents will be able to attend any of the eight campuses of the University of California system – one of the dozens university systems in the country that has benefited from expropriated Indigenous lands – after announcements from the system and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.

      • honestly! says:

        I had thought of this when I was posting. Yes, it is ostensibly more than mere posturing. Questionable on other grounds, perhaps, but substantive. I wonder how substantive. The funds are said to come from existing financial aid and new sources. How much is new? It is also very narrowly directed. I wonder, when all is said and done, is it just repackaging existing UC programs for better virtue messaging? How will it affect various student demographics? Will financial aid for poor students of other races be redirected to, say, children of Native physicians? The “new sources” coming at the expense of what other uses?

        • Fishwrapper says:

          I could also have used the Oregon Tribal Student Grant as an example of some form of compensation. (Reparation?) From OregonLive on June 7: (apologies if there is a paywall.

          The Legislature funded the Oregon Tribal Student Grant program to the tune of $19 million for 2022-23. Maximum grants will cover the average cost of attendance – including tuition, books, housing and more – for tribal members who attend an in-state community college or university.

          This answers one of your questions about taking resources from other programs – unless you look at the entire state budget appropriation as the bigger puzzle from which program funds are shuffled to make this possible. Then, too, the Office of Student Access and Completion points out on their site:

          The Oregon Tribal Student Grant is currently only funded for the 2022-2023 academic school year.[emphasis theirs] Renewal of the grant for following years is dependent on funding being allocated for the 2023-2024 academic year by the Oregon state legislature.

          Oregon’s program, then, seems less permanent that California’s – although any pledge of reparative assistance is worth the same assurance as the many treaties that preceded them through our history…

  2. just different says:

    If only there were an actual principle at stake here instead of the purported right to use your course as a platform for being a senseless dick, which is at least as “performative” as anything the university wanted. Reges is yet another example of someone who should never have been hired in the first place.


    “Reges has come under fire for controversial statements in the past. In a 2018 essay he claimed that women are underrepresented in computer science because of personal preferences and choices, and that ‘having 20% women in tech is probably the best we are likely to achieve.’”

    Source: https://www.geekwire.com/2022/computer-science-lecturer-sues-univ-of-washington-leaders-over-indigenous-lands-statement/

    It’s always the ones you suspect the most.

    • uomatters says:

      A serial offender. Must protect children from those of his ilk.

    • just different says:

      Lol, his LinkedIn lists him as “National Director, Libertarian Party” in 1993. Way to not want to be political, bruh.

  4. 'not sufficiently progressive' HA says:

    ‘Stuart Reges, a UW teaching professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science, came up with his own statement for a Computer Programming II class this past winter, according to the lawsuit: “I acknowledge that by the labor theory of property the Coast Salish people can claim historical ownership of almost none of the land currently occupied by the University of Washington.”’

  5. Right to be a douchebag says:

    Too bad the opposite of “performative act of conformity” is “performative act of douchebaggery”.

  6. Cheyney Ryan says:

    Let me ask that, next time U of O Matters posts the allegations of one side of a legal dispute, it devote equal time to what the counter-argument is, or hold off until it can. We see what Professor Reges is alleging here–but what are the facts? Judging from his dimwitted understanding of Locke’s theory of property, I am not inclined to take his other views at face value. If Reges is concerned about “woke” culture going too far, he should move to the U of Oregon which, in my almost fifty years of association with it, has only hired white men as its presidents and has had, I believe, exactly on woman as provost, who told me that she was quitting–after a few brief years–because she couldnt stand the obsession with sports at Oregon. (PS: if someone want to make a nasty reply to this, which is their “right”, I ask they use their real name.)

    • Dog says:

      I believe that Linda Brady left for many other reasons as well …

    • just different says:

      It’s depressing that so much of what FIRE seems to do these days is defending tantrum-throwing nonsense.

    • charlie says:

      I don’t know if it’s nasty or not, but my reply is the above referenced woman made, in the wake of the USC/UCLA’s evisceration of the PAC12, a remarkably prescient decision. Given that my insight into this comes from SC sources, odds are that U of Nike is NOT going to be accepted into the most lucrative CFB conference, therefore, not have a share of the best broadcast rights payout scheme. Market forces have de-emphasized Duck sports without the university’s consent. Given that the flagship uses their football team as a prime enrollment marketing tool, and if, whatever conference games they’ll book for broadcast, won’t be against premier programs, ‘taint lookin good. The white men that decided to throw in with Uncle Phil and become U of Nike are responsible for any academic and financial degradation of the institution…