Skip to Content

### Top Colleges Developing Political Commissars via DEI Certificate Programs: Watchdog

Join Fox News for exclusive access to this material, along with special privileges to select articles and premium content at no cost with your account.

Kindly provide a valid email address to proceed.

By submitting your email and clicking continue, you are consenting to Fox News’ terms and conditions, including our privacy policy. Upon verification, you will receive instructions via email to access the content.

Numerous Americans are now offering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) certificates, which are not only viewed as a cash grab following the “George Floyd anti-racism push” but are also deemed highly misleading, as per the founder of

William A. Jacobson expressed, “This essentially involves training a group of political commissars on DEI to manage and promote within corporations.”, an organization that monitors Critical Race Theory (CRT) curricula and training in higher education, has broadened its database to include institutions that provide DEI certificates. These certificates, often obtained online, enable individuals to enhance their resumes with the names of prestigious schools they did not physically attend but instead completed a certificate program bearing the institution’s name.

Jacobson, a Clinical Professor of Law at Cornell Law School and the founder of the Legal Insurrection website, established, which has also scrutinized elite K-12 private schools, leading undergraduate programs, military service academies, medical schools, and more.

In Jacobson’s words, “When considering critical race theory, it’s important to view it as the theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion as the practical implementation. Therefore, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) represent the actionable steps through which critical race theory permeates education, corporations, and government.” meticulously outlines the curricula and training programs at each institution, providing contact details and an overview of every university’s approach.

Jacobson emphasized, “We noticed the emergence of non-academic DEI certificates issued by colleges and universities. These institutions have established programs and separate entities that offer paid educational certificates focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

He further added, “DEI is no longer confined to higher education; what originated on campuses has now transcended into corporate America.”

Upon assessing the top 100 colleges and universities in the United States, discovered that 48 schools offer DEI certificate programs. Among those disclosing the cost of their DEI certificate programs, the average expense exceeds \(4,000, with Northwestern University’s program being the priciest at \)24,788.

Jacobson highlighted, “These programs are lucrative for higher education institutions. They involve minimal overhead, are conducted online, and can be replicated without the need for new content creation each time. Universities engaging in this practice essentially capitalize on the momentum generated by the George Floyd anti-racism movement.”

Jacobson also pointed out that DEI certificates may be perceived negatively on some resumes, especially amidst the backlash against the movement. Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, both Republicans, prohibited DEI in state colleges and universities this year. Several high-profile DEI officers faced accusations of plagiarism, while major corporations scaled back their DEI initiatives.

Data from job site Indeed indicates a 44% decline in DEI-related job postings in 2023, attributed to shifting priorities during layoffs and the looming threat of discrimination lawsuits.

Noteworthy figures, including Elon Musk, Bari Weiss of The Free Press, and billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, have recently advocated for the abolition of DEI programs, contributing to the growing resistance against such initiatives.

Jacobson cautioned, “While mainstream media reports on the reduction in DEI-related hiring, these educational institutions continue to profit from DEI certificate programs without disclosing the declining market demand. This lack of transparency is deceptive.”

He added, “Investing in a certificate that not only offers no benefit but could potentially harm your prospects is a significant concern. Possessing such a certificate may actually hinder your resume.”

DEI Certificate programs are available at prominent colleges and universities across various states in the U.S. The full list can be accessed on the website., a project of the Legal Insurrection Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to campus free speech and academic freedom, also manages the .

This report includes contributions from Fox News Digital’s David Rutz and Breck Dumas.