Report Summary


The woke movement at University of San Diego (USD) is well underway.  This report details how woke ideology has taken hold at USD and what it means to students, parents, alumni, and donors.  

Woke ideology is called as critical race theory, multiculturalism, or other names.  In this report, we call it Critical Social Justice (CSJ).  Whatever the name, it poses a threat to higher education and to the American way of life. This pernicious ideology divides the world into aggrieved minorities and oppressive majorities and reduces people to a group identity grounded in immutable characteristics like race and sex. As a consequence, it compromises the pursuit of truth everywhere it is adopted.  It undermines genuine meritocracy and degrades the competence of graduates at universities. It cultivates resentment and anger among the supposedly aggrieved while undermining the stability, equal treatment, and mutual toleration that contributes to individual happiness and good citizenship. 

University of San Diego has rapidly adopted CSJ policies under the guise of achieving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). It has done so with such breath-taking speed that it amounts to a hostile takeover of a formerly traditional university.   

USD now weaves CSJ/DEI into its hiring policy, student orientation, curriculum, and mandatory trainings for faculty and students.  USD is beginning a DEI hiring spree throughout its administration.  Fealty to this ideology is becoming a prerequisite for working there. Routinely students and faculty are berated for their “white privilege” and forced to pledge allegiance to the CSJ narrative. 

USD’s School of Engineering, for instance, has hired a Director of Engineering Justice to spearhead its Diversity mission.   But this is not just about one hire.  USD’s School of Engineering also acknowledges how “engineering historically has not been an inclusive space.”  It strives to “dismantle the myth of meritocracy in the United States and in the engineering discipline.”  To dismantle its supposed privilege, the College is putting together a new diversity plan with a “task force that focuses on diversity, inclusion and social justice” among other things.  What is happening in USD’s School of Engineering is happening all over campus.  Consider the following:

  •  In 2020, USD approved the “Horizon Project,” a “multiyear, comprehensive, and strategic initiative for diversity, equity, and inclusion.  The Horizon Project mandates campus-wide anti-racism and implicit bias training for all members of the university community, criminalizes seemingly innocent “acts of hate,” and includes “anti-bias” as a factor in faculty evaluations.
  •  Fealty to DEI is sown into faculty evaluations and selection criteria for jobs.
  • Future Board of Trustees will be selected on the basis of their commitment to CSJ.
  • USD’s General Education reform doubled the number of mandatory Diversity classes. 
  • It has incentivized faculty training in CSJ at the expense of excellence, merit, and actual achievement. 

Movements toward CSJ-DEI are nationwide and powerful.  They accelerated at USD in 2019-2020 and are continuing in 2021.  This ideology is often installed without people noticing, much less resisting.  If USD continues its progress, it will soon be hiring deans for every college dedicated to promoting diversity and requiring all departments to invent diversity plans, among other things.  

Only the concerted action of donors, alumni, and parents--and perhaps the Board of Trustees--can pressure USD to change direction away from this pernicious ideology and toward a vision of education genuinely worthy of the Catholic tradition and of the American people.