It may have taken a bit longer than expected, but taxpayer-funded UCSD has finally launched a national search for another pricey vice chancellor of "equity, diversity, and inclusion."
"The desired outcome of these efforts," according to a September 3 message from UCSD chancellor Pradeep Khosla, "is to achieve a UC San Diego environment that is welcoming and supportive for students, faculty, and staff with personal experiences, values, and worldviews that build on differences of culture and circumstance including race, ethnicity, sex, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geographic origin and more."
A search advisory committee, chaired by Margaret Leinen, vice chancellor for Marine Sciences, “is charged with conducting a national search, identifying and presenting suitable candidates for interview by the Committee, and helping to develop a short list of diverse, qualified candidates who will be invited to visit the campus," says the announcement.
No date for coming up with the finalists is provided and the amount of salary is not noted, though insiders expect it will match or exceed that of the position’s previous occupant.
If past is prologue, the new hire to be ultimately picked by Khosla may find themself in treacherous waters.
The first holder of the equity vice chancellorship, Wisconsin law professor Linda S. Greene, was paid $250,000 a year, but as previously reported here she quietly left the Torrey Pines campus in December 2013 after only a year on the job.
The university provided no explanation for Greene's departure and she didn’t return calls.
The position has long engendered fierce controversy, beginning from before the time it was approved by University of California regents in September 2012 as a way of handling the fallout of racially charged campus incidents, the most prominent of which was a "Compton Cookout,” held by fraternity members to mock Black History Month.
Prominent critics of the position have included New York columnist Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, who called out the university for spending money on political correctness while budget-cutting elsewhere.
"Even as UC campuses jettison entire degree programs and lose faculty to competing universities, one fiefdom has remained virtually sacrosanct: the diversity machine," Mac Donald wrote in 2011 after then-UCSD chancellor Marye Anne Fox proposed the vice chancellorship.
"Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing," said Mac Donald.
"The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.
"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."