Friday Ephemera
To Visit, Not to Stay

Let’s Put the Children in Charge

Or, “What do we want? Diversity! When do we want to pay for it? Er…”

Heather Mac Donald discusses academia’s ‘diversity’ bureaucracy, its disregard for evidence and its multiple redundancies:  

I was recently at Ohio University and their ratio of administrators to faculty tipped over in 2000. So for the last decade they have had more bureaucrats than faculty. Faculty lines are going unfilled because they claim not to have sufficient funding, and physical maintenance is cut, and yet, in 2009, they too created a new Diversity, Access and Equity Office, with a new provost to run it. Of course it was redundant, with the Office of Institutional Equity and their various ‘diversity’ ombudsmen throughout the university.

University administrators were telling state legislature that they were absolutely cut to the bone when it came to funding for essential functions and activities. UC San Diego was a typical supplicant. They had recently cut an MA programme in electrical engineering, had cut classes in French, German and Spanish, and they’d recently lost three cancer researchers… So this looked grim. And yet - that year - the university had announced the creation of an entirely new bureaucratic sinecure – a Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. And as is the case with all such new posts, it was incredibly redundant, with an already massive ‘diversity’ infrastructure that extended through the chancellor’s office, into provosts, committees, you name it. The list of names of their ‘diversity’ functions takes up an entire paragraph. […]

This ‘diversity’ infrastructure, and the larger bureaucracy, has made the recent wave of student protests look particularly foolish… There they are protesting against tuition hikes, and my view is, who are you guys protesting against? Take it to the administration, guys. Ask them why they have been bulking up on the ‘diversity’ chancellors instead of creating more introductory chemistry classes. But with their usual perfection of getting things wrong, the students completely missed the boat.

Gibor Basri, the Vice Chancellor of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity at Berkeley, participated in some of these tuition protests and said rising tuition gives him heartburn. Well, if he’s got so much heartburn, how about he starts divesting the seventeen staff in his ‘diversity’ office? He could even give up his own salary [of $200,000] or cut it by half. But instead he’s going to egg the students on to demand what he says “we” believe – that a college education is not a private right but a public good. Basri [with NYU’s “professor of social and cultural analysis,” Andrew Ross, of Sokal Hoax infamy] is spearheading an Occupy movement to demand the forgiveness of federal college loans and ‘free’ college tuition. Which would of course merely fuel the bureaucratic bloat by giving it an endless source of funds [i.e., taxpayers’ money].

Transcribed from this 90-minute video

If the dysfunction of academia is your thing, you’ll find much to entertain you. From delusions of persecution to protest as a way to get out of class.