An email exchange between the West Virginia University (WVU) Health Science Center director of diversity and associate dean for admissions reveals the officials are determined to pursue admissions practices that, they believe, will provide a higher rate of minority students and still allow them to work around Republican legislative control.
Documents obtained by Do No Harm through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests show that, on July 17, 2023, WVU Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs Mary Euler, PharmD, emailed Courtney Lanham, the school’s director of diversity with this question:
In our last Executive Committee meeting, one of our chairs was concerned about using “DEI” for our initiatives because of the Legislative tension. He feels it puts a target on us. It was suggested that perhaps we change our committee to the Inclusivity Committee with the same goals and actions. Has any other committee raised this concern?
The exchange continued:
Lanham: No they have not. I can pose this to VP Poore and see what she thinks. I do not have a strong opinion either way as long as the work gets done.
Euler: Me either and I am not afraid to have a target on my back for something I so strongly believe is necessary. Keep me posted.
Lanham: Diversity is much more than affirmative action though. So as long as we clearly define what we mean by it, I feel confident. We stripping affirmative action upthrows all of our practices, I have to wonder if we were doing it correctly to begin as well. This is an opportunity for us to restructure how we approach diversity.
Euler: I get it. Thanks.
Lanham: Thank you for being so amazing.
WVU’s Health Sciences website, which covers the schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and public health, currently promotes the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) tenet of “health equity.”
“Our future providers must mirror our global population,” WVU says. “We recognize racism is a public health crisis and we’re empowering our campus to learn more and take action.”
“When we are more diverse, we are more creative and innovative,” the school claims, adding that diversity “creates a sense of belonging and appreciation” that is believed to translate to “a culture of inclusive excellence.”
The FOIA documents also show Lanham forwarding to colleagues a letter from a nonprofit civil rights organization warning the school would be breaking the law if it fails to comply with the Supreme Court’s ruling that found race-based admissions practices unconstitutional.
Besides the potential legal issues surrounding the continuation of race-based admissions practices, medical schools that have embraced DEI ideology are already facing a decline in quality.
In a letter to the Wall Street Journal editorial board in February, Do No Harm Chairman Stanley Goldfarb, M.D. commented on the numerous schools of medicine that have made the choice of abandoning the U.S. News and World Report rankings due to their failure to maintain academic excellence as they joined others who jumped on the political DEI train.
To schools like WVU, that have adopted the radical doctrine that “our future providers must mirror our global population,” Goldfarb wrote:
There is no evidence that minority students who are qualified to enter medical school are being denied admission. While the Liaison Committee on Medical Education has required medical schools to increase the diversity of their classes for several years, the number of minority students has increased only minimally and remains well below the sought-after goal of equaling the proportion of blacks in America.
“Medical schools have had to confront the fact that an insufficient number of qualified students are available,” Goldfarb asserted. “Forcing greater diversity therefore must lead to a reduction in the merit of the students accepted.”
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