There may only be 250 miles of geographic distance between New York’s SUNY Upstate and SUNY Downstate campuses, but the difference on the woke-o-meter is astounding.
Earlier this year, we reported the “perfect” score that SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University College of Medicine scored on its Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, and Equity (DICE) Inventory that it submitted to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). This indicates that SUNY Downstate has implemented 100% of the DEI-related policies prescribed by the AAMC.
That’s not the case at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Through a freedom of information request, Do No Harm just received the DICE Inventory results from the Norton College of Medicine (NCOM), and the differences couldn’t be starker.
NCOM does have a dedicated Office of Diversity and Inclusion and DEI strategic plan, and the school responded affirmatively to the AAMC’s questions regarding admissions policies and curriculum components that support DEI. These initiatives produced a score “in the green” on the DICE Inventory, indicating the school is making “substantial Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, and Equity efforts.”
But that’s where the alignment with SUNY Downstate ends. In three sections of the DICE Inventory, SUNY Upstate is “in the red” with the AAMC’s woke directives.
- Institutional Planning and Policies: There are no performance incentives or awards from senior leadership for departments with “successful” DEI initiatives, and the last salary equity assessment at the medical school was more than 5 years ago. NCOM scored less than 50% in this section.
- Communications and Engagement: NCOM says its “institutional leaders are active within local, regional, and national forums” to promote DEI, “but we could do much more.” According to the AAMC DICE Inventory criteria, SUNY Upstate needs to act “to rectify historically exclusionary practices” and incorporate “visual displays on campus” that highlight its DEI work to get the score up in this section.
- Faculty and Staff: Because NCOM does not currently require a “diversity statement,” enforce a mandate to complete DEI training, or uphold practices to consider DEI activities in promotion and tenure, this section’s score also fell below the 50% threshold. However, the comments indicate that it plans to add diversity statements to its curriculum vitae (CV) template.
Overall, SUNY Upstate Norton College of Medicine has instituted only 55.2% of the divisive and discriminatory woke policies listed by the AAMC. So, you can bet it is feeling pressure from activists and outside groups to go further down the radical rabbit hole of DEI.
We urge a different reaction. Rather than rush to infuse divisive and discriminatory ideology throughout the SUNY Update Medical University system, their leadership should pause and realize that they have a strategic opportunity to position themselves as one of the most unique medical schools in America – one that that puts medicine, not ideology, front and center.
We hear every day from a diverse group of concerned students and their parents about applying to a medical school that avoids identity and focuses instead on academic merit. They crave intellectual diversity and a solid focus on healing people, but they feel totally alienated by the current trends in higher education.
Could SUNY Upstate be their destination? Time will tell.
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