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A UCSD plan to create a new vice chancellor position in charge of campus "equity, diversity, and inclusion” has drawn sharp criticism from Heather Mac Donald, a contributing editor to City Journal, the magazine published four times a year by the conservative Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

In a piece this month entitled Less Academics, More Narcissism , Mac Donald writes:

"Even as UC campuses jettison entire degree programs and lose faculty to competing universities, one fiefdom has remained virtually sacrosanct: the diversity machine.

"Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing.

"The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion"

(89.3 KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, is featuring a radio interview with the Manhattan Institute's Mac Donald regarding her UCSD criticism today.)

Mac Donald goes on to say, "This position would augment UC San Diego’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisors, the graduate diversity coordinators, 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 Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center."

UCSD's move, spearheaded by outgoing chancellor Marye Anne Fox, is said have been primarily motivated by a string of racially-charged incidents, including a fraternity party mocking Black History month called the "Compton Cookout" and articles appearing in the Koala, an alternative campus paper.

This week, Ana Baiz-Torres, hired by UCSD to raise money for diversity efforts, filed suit against the university, alleging that she had been fired for complaining about on-campus bias and discrimination.

According a description of the diversity position on the chancellor's website, "a key task of the new VC EDI will be to develop an appropriate organizational framework either through collaborations and/or by strengthening existing partnerships with diversity and outreach functions across campus that affect all members of our University community.

"As initially proposed, student and staff diversity liaisons are indirect reports to the VC EDI, and faculty diversity is a direct report.  The VC EDI will establish an Advisory Council representing campus constituencies.  With the Board’s advice, the VC EDI will develop and implement a campus-wide strategic plan on equity, diversity and inclusion.

"The Strategic Plan will inform the final core administrative responsibilities, propose metrics to gauge progress, and identify potential additional areas of responsibility reporting directly to the office of the VC EDI.  The VC EDI will serve as a member of the Chancellor’s executive Cabinet and will be an ex officio member of the Campus Climate Council and the Diversity Council. "

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Comments

NONENTITY July 28, 2011 @ 3 p.m.

Heather Mac Donald's article, "LESS ACADEMICS, MORE NARCISSISM", is absolutely BRILLIANT -- as is SHE!

Lisa Garcia Bedolla is just another AFFIRMATIVE ACTION hire at UC Berkeley.

Two of the WORSE WORDS ever introduced into the Education Lexicon of the US are: "DIVERSITY & INCLUSIVE"!

"CITY JOURNAL" is the best publication EVER to come out of New York City!

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monaghan July 28, 2011 @ 4:03 p.m.

While we spend and spend and SPEND on the employees for this new bad-joke position at UCSD, let's keep jacking up the tuition and fees for hapless students at the University of California. It's a disgrace. When is Chancellor Marye Ann Fox out of here?

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SurfPuppy619 July 28, 2011 @ 9:58 p.m.

Diversity is important, but this is just totally ridicukous.

Makes you wonder if these clowns that dream this BS up have a few screws loose.

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Moravecglobal July 29, 2011 @ 6:37 p.m.

Diversity yes. $ for diversity during the greatest recession in modern times, no. University of California (UC) tuition, fee increases are an insult. Californians face mortgage defaults, 12% unemployment, pay reductions, loss of unemployment benefits. No layoff or wage reductions for UC Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Faculty during greatest recession of modern times. There is no good reason to raise tuition, fees when wage concessions are available. UC wages must reflect California's ability to pay, not what others are paid. If wages better elsewhere, chancellors, vice chancellors, tenured, non tenured faculty, UCOP apply for the positions. If wages determine commitment to UC Berkeley, leave for better paying position. The sky above the 10 campuses will not fall. Pitch in (with deeds not words) for all California Democrats, Republicans UC! No furloughs. UCOP 18% reduction salaries & $50 million cut. Chancellors’ Vice-Chancellors’, 18% cut. Tenured faculty 15% trim. Non-Tenured, 10% reduction. Academic Senate, Council remove 100% costs salaries. It is especially galling to continue to generously compensate chancellors, vice-chancellors, faculty while Californians are making financial sacrifices and faculty, chancellor, vice-chancellor turnover is one of the lowest of public universities. The message that President Yudof, UC Board of Regent Chair Lansing, UC Berkeley Birgeneau are sending is that they have more concern for generously paid chancellors, faculty. The few at the top need to get a grip on economic reality and fairness. The California Legislature needs a Bill to oversee higher education salaries, tuition.

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SurfPuppy619 July 29, 2011 @ 11:36 p.m.

The California Legislature needs a Bill to oversee higher education salaries, tuition.

The California Legislature is the reason why the system is so screwed up.

30 years ago you could go to a CC for free, go to a CSU fulltime for $150 tuition per semeseter and a UC for $300 per semester.

11% of the CA budget went to higher education (CC-CSU-UC) and only 3% went to prisons. Today 3% goes to higher education and 12% goes to prisons.

Get the picture now??????? We are more concerned with making GED educated prison guards millionaires than investing in the FUTURE of this state and our country.

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tomjohnston July 30, 2011 @ 8:38 a.m.

Not sure where your information comes from, but according to the 2011-2012 budget thet Brown signed, expenditures for Higher Educations are slated at about $10.737 billion and the CDRC budget is about $9.768 billion.I believe the total budget is just under $86 billion, so you can do the math on the percentages.

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tomjohnston July 30, 2011 @ 9:40 p.m.

When I was a freshman at Berkeley, in 1969,the fees were about $150 per semester. When our oldest daughter enrolled at UCLA in 2000, the "educational fee" was about $1200 per term. Throw in all of the other misc fees and it was about $3k for the entire year. Our youngest daughter considered attending Berkeley when she graduated HS 5 years ago. At that time the undergrad fees were more than $8k. BTW, you can place the blame for tuitions squarely on the back of Ronald Reagan. During the Vietnam war era, Berkeley was pretty much an epicenter for student protests of the war. Reagan had a hard-on for Berkeley because of that. Just after he took office, he managed to get the regents to fire Berkeley's president. It finally came out in about 2002 that during his campaign for governor he was in cahoots with JEH and his feds to try and crack down on all the liberals there. After Berkeleys's president was fired, Reagan managed to get the UC budget cut by about 10% AND introduce the new "special fees" that, in effect, were the beginning of charging tuition. Our "great communicator even went as far as calling in the national guard to break up a rally that the police had "helped" escalate into a riot. A lot of people forget some of the crap Reagan pulled as governor. But some of us were there and remember it with clarity.

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Twister July 29, 2011 @ 7:07 p.m.

The (pick your buzz-word) habit in institutionalized academics has long waved-off substance for BS, starting (at least in its modern phase) with the creation of BS Ph.D's, starting with Ed.D's, reaching a pitch of absurdity with MBA's, and approaching terminal velocity with Political Correctness, which is driving old-fashioned liberals and RHINO's into some never-never land, some intellectual purgatory because incompetent, lazy fakers have manouvered themselves through new-fashioned good-ol-boy-and-girl networking into positions of absolute power.

This is unfortunate, because the core of the movement was once noble enough--discourage prejudice. But when the meaning of discrimination got contorted by the higher illiterate poseur-professors, the race was on . . . about race and every other phony distinction that truly needed to go--and WAS GOING! But ostensibly not fast enough (granted).

But the really, really unfortunate net effect of all this is that those innocent of the list of true transgressions are being sacrificed on the altar of mere PC.

It's time to stop being intimidated by the PC Police, and stop swallowing their pack of patently perilous demagoguery. And riot in the campuses against their insane overcompensation (both meanings apply).

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Twister July 30, 2011 @ 6:08 p.m.

Here's the text of a comment made about the referenced piece, apparently pixeled by a "minority" individual, that is unusually intelligent:

Addy Arden July 25, 2011 at 10:42 PM In the spirit of full disclosure, I turned down the equivalent of affirmative action treatment in my Ivy League master's and doctoral programs in the 1980s. I am a very liberal person, but wanted to know that my education assessed my skills on the basis of my performance, rather than giving me points for accidents of birth. My scholarships already took care of the simple fact that my family was poor and plagued by Rust Belt socioeconomic conditions, and those I had earned on a merit basis. Also, I was raised to base my self esteem on my achievement, not categories. I told a variety of well-meaning professors that if they felt I deserved affirmative action, then in my view that spoke ill of their confidence that I in fact could compete within the institution on my own terms.

Having said that, Ms. MacDonald's piece shows an unfortunate tendency to engage in snarky and loaded language. I would like to be able to pass this piece along to liberal friends, to get the discussion going of much-needed public education reforms, but terms like "mau mauing" and "apparatchik" strike even me as polarizing and petty. It also leads Ms. MacDonald to overlook key points.

For example, she notes that faculty members left UCSD for Rice, supposedly taking with them juicy private sector grants (which she doesn't specify). Later she talks about the $16 million in Haas Foundation grants that these diversity programs have brought to the UC system. Her inconsistent argument would be strengthened by clearer and broader picture thinking: what happens when wealthy families and corporations decide to influence the direction of PUBLIC education and spend millions to do so? What happens to the mission of those institutions? For that is the larger picture. These programs would not exist without wealthy foundations coughing up the megamillions for them, using the public education system as their springboard. [cont'd.]

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Twister July 30, 2011 @ 6:10 p.m.

. . . continued . . .

I agree very much that reform of public higher education is necessary--particularly from the standpoint of too many middle managers of programs, removed from anything but the apparent justification of their own existence.

At the same time, my life experience indicates a need for some sort of diversity affirmation support for students, particularly those violating every feature of their families' culture in order to attain a Western higher education. I'm thinking very strongly at this moment of the queer Muslim women I knew in grad school, who literally were risking their lives to be who they were both as people and as scholars. They were deeply in need of people who could help them unpack, examine, and come to terms with their families' homophobia, misogyny, anti-intellectualism, and other biases.

I am also of the view that the diversity tail has outgrown and been wagging the public education dog for too long, for no other reason than that smart people who know how to work a system have created academic fiefdoms for themselves. But it is no different for diversity studies than it is for, say, restaurant and hotel management, cosmetology, or law and nursing (the latter two fields inflating themselves on new categories of professionalization and para-professionalization, and forever training more people than the job market can absorb).

It is a long overdue discussion, but one that will have to take place in far more elevated, reasoned, and non-emotive terms than Ms. MacDonald used in this story. She sounds like someone with another agenda entirely...and I must say, based on her funding sources and other writings, it is an open possibility in my mind that she is.

Thank you for listening.

From: http://www.city-journal.org/comments/index.php?story=7291&#8339

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Visduh July 31, 2011 @ 1:10 p.m.

Yes, when programs are being dropped and classes are being cancelled, adding yet another assistant vice chancellor at UCSD is ridiculous. The staff that is assembled by this administrator can either be effective at its mission, or ineffective. (Don't assume that it will have any real effect.) If it is the latter, the staff will endlessly write position papers, exchange planning-type correspondence with other campus offices, give an occasional update on its plans, and maybe conduct a few "workshop" sessions. In other words, it may produce no action at all, but just keep paper flowing on campus.

If it is effective, it will represent just one more layer of campus bureaucracy, one more hoop to jump through in order to make any changes, and more delay. The unintended consequence is that the position and its retinue could become "thought police" that will scare staff, faculty and students into silence, lest they inadvertently utter sentiments that are forbidden. There's plenty of that now on university campuses, usually keeping non-PC comments unsaid and unwritten.

But it is rather ironic that a place like UCSD has a huge push on for more diversity when in many ways the student body is becoming less diverse. Ever since the ballot proposition banning racial quotas and a Regents policy change, the student bodies at the three top UC campuses (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San Diego) are becoming heavily Asian. Those non-political Asian kids who have had their noses to the academic grindstone since elementary school are being admitted in massive numbers.

I haven't recently looked at the ethnic makeup of the student bodies, but a decade ago the largest demographic at all three campuses was the Asian female. The second largest was either the Asian male or the white female. Note that in recent years, the makeup of most student bodies is growing more majority female than ever before. Those who worry that too few girls are going to college need to wake up to the fact that they won that battle a couple generations ago. Now they need to find out why so many males eschew college education. That's the "diversity" challenge today, but I know that this administrator will never see it that way.

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Gugliemus Aug. 9, 2011 @ 3:45 p.m.

For those old enough to remember, Mark Helprin wrote a wonderful essay many years ago that addressed head on the issue of multi-culturalism. His final paragraph is a study in elegance. You can find it here:

http://www.mcgillreport.org/diversity_is_not_a_virtue.htm

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