A four-page article claiming that the University of Minnesota is guilty of “systemic and structural” racism has been retracted from an academic journal following evidence the authors’ findings were “either inaccurate, misleading, or false.”
The essay, titled “Transactional and transformative diversity, equity, and inclusion activities in health services research departments,” was published in “Health Services Research” this past January. Its co-authors — professor Janette Dill, lecturer Stuart Grande and Tongtan Chantarat, a research scientist — work at the U of M.
‘Misleading’ and ‘false’ portrayal of racism-related experiences leads to retraction.https://t.co/U4ouK3Rk9X pic.twitter.com/khlaoz8G23
— Retraction Watch (@RetractionWatch) April 19, 2023
The paper had alleged that while some anti-racism measures were being implemented, they were on the whole superficial or “performative” rather than “transformative,” thereby leaving some students feeling like “racial inequity, structural racism, and other systems of oppression” were not being adequately covered in the classroom.
Retraction Watch, a grassroots monitoring site, reported earlier this month that the paper was taken down in March after Dill, Grande, and Chantarat said the article unintentionally “mischaracterized the authenticity of experiences represented” in the essay.
The trio’s claims had discussed, among other things, the diversity, equity, and inclusion policies adopted by the Health Policy & Management division, which is housed in the University’s School of Public Health. The policy changes were made in 2020 following the death of George Floyd.
According to Retraction Watch, the article cited “racist behaviors by faculty, staff, and students” and alleged “widespread systemic and structural racism within our institution.”
The article also discussed two professors of color who felt “overwhelmed with advising and mentoring responsibilities, in addition to teaching much of the content in the Division on structural racism.”
Other professors “do not feel equipped or trained to incorporate content related to DEI and issues of structural inequity into their classroom,” the retracted article said.
In an explanatory note, “Health Services Research” states that the “characterisation of specific data (personal narratives and experiences) was either inaccurate, misleading, or false.”
“The final submitted manuscript unintentionally contained content that mischaracterised the authenticity of experiences represented, and the authors have requested retraction,” it says.
When asked to comment about the paper by Retraction Watch, Dill declined to go on the record or comment on specific inaccuracies.
The outlet says that neither Grande nor Chantarat replied to its requests. Dill and Grande co-chair the division’s Anti-Racism Practice Committee, which was established in the summer of 2020. Chantarat is a research scientist at the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity, which falls under the purview of the U of M’s School of Public Health.
Stephen Kokx, M.A., is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching and politics. His essays have appeared in such outlets as Catholic Family News and CatholicVote.org.