Education

New Study Finds Zero Evidence That Hiring a Chief Diversity Officer Produces More Diversity on Campus

"We are unable to find significant statistical evidence that preexisting growth in diversity... is affected by hiring an executive level diversity officer."

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Diversity
Yurolaitsalbert / Dreamstime

Campus diversity czars frequently draw massive salaries. The University of Michigan's chief diversity officer, for example, rakes in $396,000 a year.

Is that money well spent? Probably not. A new study went looking for evidence that employing a chief diversity official produced a more diverse faculty and came back empty-handed.

"We are unable to find significant statistical evidence that preexisting growth in diversity for underrepresented racial/ethnic minority groups is affected by the hiring of an executive level diversity officer," write the study's authors, a team of researchers associated with Baylor University.

The team looked at data from 2001 to 2016. Over that time period, universities hired a lot of chief diversity officers, but this did not correlate with diversity-related faculty hiring.

Possibly sensing that these findings will likely offend many administrators, lead author Steven Bradley defended the research in an interview with Inside Higher Ed. He stressed that he wasn't saying diversity czars are bad for diversity—just that he couldn't produce any evidence that they were good for it.

"We believe more work must be done to better understand barriers to increased diversity, and how they might be best addressed," the study concludes.

Note that this study looked only at racial and ethnic diversity. Fostering intellectual diversity is not generally part of a campus diversity officer's job description.

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  1. From that AEI article (Holy Fuck!):

    The University of Michigan currently employs a diversity staff of nearly 100 (93) full-time diversity administrators, officers, directors, vice-provosts, deans, consultants, specialists, investigators, managers, executive assistants, administrative assistants, analysts, and coordinators…the total employee compensation for this group tops $11 million per year..[which alternatively] could support 765 in-state students per year with full tuition scholarships!

    1. I found a great blog that talks about the problems in higher-ed like these.

      http://professorconfess.blogspot.com/

      He’s got a number of articles that talk about stuff like this, pointing out that a lot of the current inflation of university prices has been due to this sort of crap, as opposed to actually improved educational facilities.

      1. Now if only they could extrapolate that into health care…

        1. But, the people responsible for this in higher ed have expanded it into healthcare…

  2. Fostering intellectual diversity is not generally part of a any campus diversity officer’s job description.

    Isn’t this more accurate?

  3. Just claim the study was funded by the fossil fuel industry and should therefore be ignored. Problem solved.

  4. Fostering intellectual diversity is not generally part of a campus diversity officer’s job description.

    You can say that again. When I think of the math and science and engineering departments and their corporate funding all I can think of is how these universities have turned into a Stalinist concentration camp. Really, how many of the students that are sent to these intellectual gulags actually make it back? 50%?

  5. Well, are the diversity officers black, Latinx, Zoroastrian, Polynesian, or otherwise non-WASP-y?

    Because if they are: tah-dah! Diversity increased.

    1. Because if they are: tah-dah! Diversity increased.

      Unless they simply displaced a Latino, Zoroastrian, Polynesian, or otherwise non-WASP-y member of the staff or other diversity hires were eliminated in favor of approved/conformist ethnic groups.

      1. A college campus administration actually eliminating one of its staff? And I thought my comment was funny.

        1. Yes, that’s a sure sign that a college will soon be going out of business.

    2. Coming Next Summer: Faced with a new threat from the sinister General DeVos, a group of bumbling, mostly white campus diversity officers at a struggling liberal arts college are made to Smell What The Rock Is Cooking!

      1. (Spoiler Alert: It’s delicious authentic Cherokee cuisine from Pow-Wow Chow.)

        1. Ah yes, traditional French/Indian fusion cuisine.

  6. The University of Michigan’s chief diversity officer, for example, rakes in $396,000 a year.

    Holy shit.

    I’m guessing the chief federal financial aid and student loan officer also makes about that much seeing as how they’re responsible for pulling in enough tuition to pay these salaries.

    1. The University of Michigan currently employs a diversity staff of nearly 100 (93) full-time diversity administrators, officers, directors, vice-provosts, deans, consultants, specialists, investigators, managers, executive assistants, administrative assistants, analysts, and coordinators.

      WOW.

  7. Is that money well spent? Probably not. No.

    We aren’t even talking ROI here, we’re talking about effectively amassing the ‘???’ in Step 2 prior to the ‘Step 3: Profit!’. Plenty of predominantly (if not exclusively) white, black, male, female, etc. companies routinely demonstrate that diversity isn’t a requirement for success and profit. There’s no reason to assume that ‘Probably so.’ is even remotely a correct answer to that question. It’s not even like there’s a diversity guru on a campus somewhere raking in the bucks and cranking out prodigies that these Universities are emulating. It’s just a mindless ‘diversity is always a boon’ mantra coming home to roost.

    1. The Univ. of Michigan’s Chief Diversity Officer, his family, his Whole Foods store manager, his Benz dealer, his landscaper, his country club, his etc etc beg to differ.

  8. It’s not about that.

  9. Eventually the college administration bubble has to burst.

    Right?

    1. It will, but the question is, will the schools be allowed to go bust and close, or will they be judged “too big to fail” and be bailed out.

      1. ‘For the children’ makes that answer too easy to even write out. You know the answer.

        1. Not to mention that lots of these places are straight up state institutions. How does the DMV ‘go out of business’?

  10. ‘Is that money well spent? Probably not.’ – Come on, Robby, take a stand: Is it well spent, or not?

    1. Robby and the study authors seem to misunderstand the purpose of diversity staff. It’s not to increase diversity. It’s to enforce conformity with their political religion.

    2. To be sure.

  11. “The University of Michigan’s chief diversity officer, for example, rakes in $396,000 a year.”

    That is full tuition for 28.5 in-state kids. One of the main reasons tuition costs keep going up is because the hiring of useless administrators.

    1. And the main reason tuition can keep going up is student loans. Make student loans dischargeable in bankruptcy and much of this nonsense will stop overnight.

  12. This is academia we’re talking about. Results are irrelevant.

    1. Not true.
      But the results that you can get them to care about are either in their field of study or things that advance their career in academia.

  13. No shit, ‘diversity’ of skin color doesn’t really mean shit when you have tenure in your profession. The university can’t exactly fire you because you’re white, which is kind of ironic when you think about it.

  14. We have a diversity office. We still schedule mandatory corporate meetings on major religious holidays.

  15. Interestingly, ‘diversity’ seems to never include disabled students. And the official disability ‘advocates’ with their bloated university salaries are completely useless. These people are also impossible to fire, so their incompetent asses are shuffled from department to department. With a nice pension when they retire. I’m not bitter or anything!

    1. Well, in a sense, it does.

      1. Believing that you’re a woman with a penis could certainly be considered a disability. And, if you’re admitted to or hired by a school for which you are not qualified by affirmative action, your intellectual inferiority to others admitted or hired by the normal process could be considered a disability in that context.

  16. Basically it’s just hiring on a Soviet-style Political Officer.

  17. Who the F cares about diversity? Half of the university is science based on empirical evidence. Does a nematode’s genome look different to a black woman vs a transgender Asian? I thought we were magically getting to a “post-racial” nation. I guess not.

  18. Isn’t this the sort of job Socialists come up with for the children of big donor families that are incapable of holding down a real job?

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