What Is the University Diversity Scam?
America's campuses, particularly those in California, spend tens of millions of dollars on administrators and programs to combat issues like sexism, homophobia, and racism on campus. But are these problems in any way prevalent at our universities? Or is this diversity bureaucracy a big waste of money? Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute explains.
Are colleges across America rife with racism, sexism, and homophobia?
If you answer, "No, that's absurd," you probably have a fair amount of common sense. If you answer, yes, you are probably a college administrator.
Wait, you might ask, college administrators accuse their own schools of being racist, sexist and homophobic? How does that make any sense?
To understand how a college administrator thinks, you must first, as the popular saying goes, "follow the money." If you do, you will not only discover why college administrators declare their own colleges racist, sexist and homophobic, but also why, if you're a student, your tuition keeps going up, and why, if you're a parent, your bank balance keeps going down.
Here's a how it works. If colleges are racist, sexist and homophobic, the only way to change that, if you're a college administrator, is to create a massive diversity bureaucracy. And that, of course, is massively expensive.
No institution provides a more vivid example than the University of California, a once great university system which is self-destructing in the name of diversity.
The diversity ideology has encroached upon every aspect of the University of California's collective psyche and mission. It is the one constant in every university endeavor; it impinges on hiring, distorts the curriculum, and sucks up vast amounts of faculty time and taxpayer money.
Even the university's ongoing budget problems have not touched it. Since 2010 UC San Francisco, UC San Diego, and UCLA have all created new vice chancellorships in diversity, equity, and inclusion, with salaries starting at a quarter million dollars a year or higher.
Each of these new posts is wildly redundant. Yet each new diversity position inevitably generates an even greater surge of junior bureaucrats, all sucking in tuition dollars.
In 2011, UC Berkeley's vice chancellor for equity and inclusion presided over a staff of 17; yet, just one year later, his staff had ballooned to 24. No wonder the number of administrators at the University of California almost equals that of the faculty.
Here's an only partial list of the diversity bureaucracy at UC San Diego.
The associate vice chancellor for faculty equity The assistant vice chancellor for diversity The staff diversity liaison The undergraduate student diversity liaison The graduate student diversity liaison The chief diversity officer The director of development for diversity initiatives The director of the Cross-Cultural Center The director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, The director of the Women's Center.
These diversity bureaucrats place nonstop pressure on departments to hire on the basis of race, gender and sexual preference.
Their trick is to set the hiring bar low enough to scoop in more female and minority candidates, and then declare that anyone above that bar is "qualified enough" to trump the most qualified candidate, when that candidate is a white or Asian male.
But sometimes even that evisceration of standards isn't enough. In that case, the Administration simply creates a new hiring category.
In September 2012, after UC San Diego's Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty refused to hire a mediocre female professor whom the administration had tried to force on them, the engineering school announced that it would be creating a QUOTE "excellence" position, the school's Orwellian phrase for women and minorities who cannot get hired even after hiring standards have been lowered.
Remember, these machinations are all in the service of a problem that doesn't exist. It's entirely fabricated. UC's campuses -- like colleges throughout America -- are easily the most welcoming and inclusive social environments in human history (at least if you're not a conservative).
Female and minority students are surrounded by caring adults who are dedicated to their academic success; they enjoy opportunities for learning and self-development that are the envy of the world. As for the faculty, the idea that any academic department would reject the most qualified candidate simply because that candidate was black, Hispanic, female or gay is absurd, not to mention an entirely gratuitous insult to every faculty member on the hiring committees.
Universities should be the institution in society that is the most dedicated to reason and evidence-based decisions. But with their crusade against their own make-believe racism and sexism, UC and almost every other American university betray that ideal every day.
I'm Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute for Prager University.