The myth of “woke” indoctrination at American universities (JUDD LEGUM, MAY 16, 2024, Popular Information)

Open Syllabus, a non-profit group, collects syllabi from colleges and universities. The group has collected over 5.5 million syllabi at more than 4,000 American institutions of higher learning. The data is not comprehensive because Open Syllabus relies mostly on publicly available data. But it is the most robust database of what is actually taught on campus in the U.S.

Data collected by Open Syllabus reveals that, in 2023, “woke” terms like “critical race theory,” “structural racism,” or “transgender” appear in just 0.08% of college and university syllabi. These are all legitimate areas of inquiry but are derided by critics as evidence of academia’s decline. In any event, the data shows they are not significant components of college and university curricula.

Even generic terms that encompass these terms appear in relatively few syllabi. The term “race” — allegedly an obsession of the modern university — appears in only 2.8% of the syllabi collected by Open Syllabus in 2023. Moreover, the prevalence of “race” in syllabi has remained relatively consistent over the last 15 years. Similarly, “gender” appeared in 4.7% of syllabi in 2023 — a rate that has held fairly steady since 2008.