Free Speech

The Problem with Mandated Diversity Statements in Faculty Hiring and Promotion

Improving diversity is a worthy endeavor. But compelled “diversity statements” are a form of social engineering that, ironically, can be exclusionary.

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This is the fourth in a series of five guest posts we are publishing this week as the co-authors of a new book from Oxford University Press titled "Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education." The previous guest posts from this series can be found here, and here, and here.

One of the trends among institutions of higher education is to require applicants for faculty positions, as well as already-hired faculty who are up for internal promotions, to submit a statement documenting their contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). UCLA, which is one such institution, provides a list of examples of relevant activities that can be cited in an EDI statement.

The examples, which fall under the categories of teaching, research, professional activity, and university and public service, include "Teaching at a minority-serving institution," "Developing effective teaching strategies for the educational advancement of students from under-represented groups," "Studying patterns of participation and advancement of women and minorities in fields where they are underrepresented," and "Presentations or performances for under-represented communities."

As we explain in the book, these are all worthy endeavors. But they also function as a filter that itself is exclusionary, as it favors faculty and would-be-faculty whose academic research happens to involve activities that can be cited in a diversity statement. And what about the candidates who are doing research that doesn't focus on such activities? As we write in the book:

[C]onsider a newly graduated mathematics Ph.D. who is looking for a mathematics faculty position. Let's assume that her work is uniformly regarded as groundbreaking, and that her peers and mentors are in universal agreement that she is one of the world's brightest young mathematicians, and is likely destined for a decades-long career of important mathematical breakthroughs. But let's also assume that she hasn't done any of the things listed above as examples that could be listed in an EDI statement….

What she has done, over the course of her doctoral research, is publish paper after groundbreaking paper to advance her field of mathematics. And, let's suppose that she has demonstrated that she is an excellent teacher as well. Are the best interests of society or a university really served by placing this person at a substantial disadvantage in the faculty application process because she hasn't done any of the things that the university wants to see in a diversity statement? Clearly, the answer is no.

Of course, as diversity statement requirements for faculty position applications become more widely adopted, aspiring faculty members will naturally react analogously to the way many high school students have long done when told that college admissions officers want to see lots of extracurricular activities: They will make calculated decisions to engage in activities for the express purpose of enhancing their applications….

It is possible to be a strong believer in the value of diversity while also posing the question of why this topic in particular is the one that warrants this sort of social engineering of future faculty members. After all, without in any way discounting the value of diversity, it's possible to identify any number of other worthy topics for which universities are not applying similar filters.

Take, for example, charity. There's a strong case to be made that part of being a good citizen and role model is engaging in charity. Why then are universities not requiring "charity statements" in which prospective (or current) faculty members outline the efforts they have undertaken to engage in charitable endeavors?

Or what about community engagement? People who devote time and effort to better their communities are vital to the health of any society. So why do university hiring committees not ask for "community engagement" statements that would allow a faculty applicant who has been a consistent and passionate participant in his or her community for years to shine? And so on….

Is the ideal outcome to end up 10 years from now with university faculties in which every single faculty member is continuously engaged in some form of compelled diversity-related activity? Or, with respect to endeavors that can improve our universities and our society, are we perhaps better off letting people pursue their passions, giving support and encouragement to those who wish to make diversity a focus of their efforts, while also supporting and valuing the work of those who wish to find other ways to enhance their communities? Our belief is that the latter will lead to a healthier, more balanced higher education system and society.

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  1. “Diversity” as a value runs directly opposed to the value of non-discrimination: It’s a value you can only directly pursue BY discriminating.

    Thus, pursuing it directly undermines the fight against racism, by establishing that racial discrimination actually IS acceptable.

    So, we need to stop treating “diversity” as an admirable basis for hiring, that merely needs to be limited to its proper scope. It’s not. It’s just disguised racism, and not even that well disguised.

    1. Some people complain, perhaps for good reason, about this commenting system, but the ability to provide comments from the 1950s is a remarkable feature.

      1. Look, Kirkland, wearing a white robe doesn’t become better just because you dye it a different color and discriminate against a different race.

        You can tell people, “You shouldn’t racially discriminate! It’s irrational, race is just cosmetic, you should treat people according to relevant characteristics, and that’s that.” and persuade them, even against their own interest. Justice has that kind of attraction.

        But if you give up on that line, and tell them that racial discrimination is OK so long as you’re racially discriminating in favor of the right race, (Not their’s, IOW.) don’t be surprised if you only get halfway there, and persuade them that they’re entitled to racially discriminate in favor of their own race.

        So, yes, the demand for “diversity” achieved by racial discrimination does perpetuate racism.

        1. Nice reply but you should know by now that it’s wasted. Kirkland and others like him [I need not name] are troll provocateurs who come here simply for the reactions they inevitably receive.

          1. I find that Kirkland says something sensible, occasionally. Rare occasions, and they’re really hard to find under all the oral rape allusions, but he does. Maybe once every 3-4 months.

            Engaging him is in the hope that even he isn’t lost.

            1. That’s what’s so frustrating. Kirkland is quite intelligent when he chooses to drop the act. Typically it’s on something so shocking that he can’t fathom making jokes about it. The man just wastes so much time poking people for the sake of poking people.

              1. That’s why I call him a fake. He is one.

            2. If Kirkland has ever made a sensible comment, I’ve missed it. As far as I can see, he’s an unmitigated fool. I ignore his comments, and the comments section of this (wonderful) blog would be much better if everyone did the same

        2. If you expect any self-awareness about the incongruousness of his positions from that that faker, then I have a bridge I want to sell you. I make the same mistake of actually responding to the fake now and again, but it’s like debating a particularly obtuse angry teenager whose says things like “I didn’t ask to be born.”

          1. “… it’s like debating a particularly obtuse angry teenager whose says things like “I didn’t ask to be born.”

            That would be Tony. Most definitely.

            We would all do ourselves a favor to just not respond to them at all. That, [to be ignored] more than anything, would truly ruin their days.

            FEED A COMMENTOR, STARVE A TROLL

            1. I don’t comment usually outside of the VC, but yea.

      2. Kirkland, why don’t so say something worthwhile instead of your usual mean-spirited blather.

    2. It is absolutely not true that the only way you can pursue diversity is through what you are labeling “discrimination”.

      1. Well, no: You can pursue diversity indirectly, by pursuing merit fearlessly wherever it leads. Some degree of diversity will naturally fall out of that, in most cases.

        Just not as much as the people who value “diversity” for its own sake demand, and not reliably.

        1. No discrimination is ok, so long as it’s indirect????
          How can that be a logical or legal standard?
          The use of race as a criterion for anything is racist, by definition.
          Stop dividing Americans by race.

          1. No, what I said is that genuinely not discriminating will produce some degree of “diversity” automatically.

            Just not as much as the diversity mongers demand.

        2. You can pursue diversity by encouraging minorities to apply, and encouraging minorities already there to speak up. You can pursue diversity by using more holistic criteria in hiring and admissions. You can pursue diversity by aggressively enforcing rules against discrimination and harassment, thereby becoming a more attractive place for minorities.

          There’s literally all sorts of things you can do other than a traditional goal/set-aside/quota affirmative action preference system, to attain more diversity.

          The fact that you have probably debated these programs for years and don’t understand this basic fact doesn’t say much for you.

          1. “You can pursue diversity by encouraging minorities to apply, and encouraging minorities already there to speak up.”

            The original concept for affirmative action. We know what it evolved into: Racial quotas, because it didn’t work “enough”.

            “You can pursue diversity by using more holistic criteria in hiring and admissions.”

            Using obscure, fuzzy criteria so the racial discrimination is deniable.

            “You can pursue diversity by aggressively enforcing rules against discrimination and harassment, thereby becoming a more attractive place for minorities.”

            Fairly uncontroversial, so long as it is done honestly.

            “There’s literally all sorts of things you can do other than a traditional goal/set-aside/quota affirmative action preference system, to attain more diversity.”

            So, why does it keep turning into a goal/set-aside/quota preference system?

            Because, in practice, the advocates aren’t satisfied with the results of ‘affirmative action’ without racial discrimination.

            “The fact that you have probably debated these programs for years and don’t understand this basic fact doesn’t say much for you.”

            “If you understood this, you’d agree with me!” Yeah, that is a tempting thing to think, isn’t it?

            1. Engagement activities are not the same as AA, and deal directly with network effects locking in particular cohorts.

              But lord are they difficult and time consuming.

              1. We basically got racial preferences as the real face of affirmative action, because fighting the effects of past discrimination without committing present discrimination IS really hard, doesn’t produce rapid results, and is in no way guaranteed to get you to an absence of disparate outcomes. In fact, if groups aren’t similarly situated, is pretty much guaranteed to produce disparate outcomes.

                The only thing to be said for doing it without committing present discrimination is that it’s the right thing to do.

                1. I am not talking about racial preferences in admission or result *at all* when I talk about engagement activities.

                  1. What are engagement activities, and whatever they are, what return can be demonstrated from their admitted difficulty and consumption of time ?

      2. Dilan,
        Let’s be honest about the word. It was adopted as a codeword when quotas were declared illegal.

        But actually I now see official institutional words about providing opportunities for URMs and OPCs.
        I know what Under-Represented Minorities are (Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans). But what are Other People of Color?
        Arabs, Sicilians, Afghans, Vietnamese? Chinese? or only the darker skinned people of those ethnic groups?
        Looks, walks and quacks like racism to me.

        You know, my daughter used to say that her brother and I were people of color, but she and her mom were not.
        Give me a break.

  2. I skipped applying at any university that required this as part of the application. Granted that was a small percent when I was applying, but still.

    1. It’s becoming much, much more common. If I skip schools with this requirement, then I’ll cut off a lot of potential jobs.

      I know of one case where the department didn’t put the requirement in their ad and the HR office inserted it before posting the ad.

      1. It appears you have learned what it’s like to be an aspiring college basketball coach who isn’t Catholic.

        Quit whining.

  3. [C]onsider a newly graduated mathematics Ph.D. who is looking for a mathematics faculty position. Let’s assume that her work is uniformly regarded as groundbreaking, and that her peers and mentors are in universal agreement that she is one of the world’s brightest young mathematicians, and is likely destined for a decades-long career of important mathematical breakthroughs.
    I was going to sign up for a class she teaches, but chose the class taught by an albino. I haven’t taken a class taught by an albino. It is important to be exposed to diverse backgrounds.

    1. Well done!

  4. I support diversity from just admitting bookworms that study 80 hours a week, and don’t do much anything else.

    Ivy indoctrinated grads should be excluded from all responsible policy positions. They come out as bookworms who support a big government philosophy.

  5. “She” doesn’t have to worry about it, because as a female, she is already diverse. How much would anyone want to bet that no minority (excluding asians and conservative women possibly) would be excluded by such a hiring process?

    If the hypothetical young mathematics PhD was non-white, having 0 “EDI” would probably be immediately disregarded.

  6. “Developing effective teaching strategies for the educational advancement of students from under-represented groups,”

    When I was teaching Intro. to Finance at the largest university in my state, I had to hold extra help sessions exclusively for my minority students in order to teach them decimals and fractions (basically, early middle school math). Note that this course was generally not taken by students until the first semester of their junior year. Would that count? This was not an issue when I taught higher level finance courses since I had exactly zero Black or Hispanic students in my classes. Ever. It is unlikely that the hypothetical mathematics Ph.D. had much of an opportunity to teach many minority students. This is an issue that often needs to be addressed at the high school level or lower rather than in the collegiate level.

    1. I recall trouble getting 300 and 400 level courses. For some courses, they only offered 1 class per year. Conflicts with other once-a-year courses made scheduling difficult. The university did offer multiple sub-100 courses for remedial math and English every semester.

      1. I taught at a large university. There was ample opportunity to take upper level finance courses, at least those required to complete the major.

      2. There is a good reason for so many remedial math and English classes. UF and FSU are both suppose to be flagship institutions of higher learning in Florida. Fully one third of entering freshmen at FSU were signed up for one or both of the remedial classes; an even higher portion of the entering UF freshmen were taking the remedial classes.

        I am not even sure remedial classes like this should be taught at community colleges but I see no justification for them to be taught at the best universities in the state. But I would bet dollars to donuts that the peeps who teach these classes get lots of brownie points from the SJWs.

    2. My wife is in high school education, and the sheer number of students she gets who lack basic numeracy and literacy that I would expect from a fourth grader is shocking. When teaching accounting to high schoolers, she often has to go into detail about how to multiply by percentage using a calculator.

      1. My professional community has recently invited two-page letters from its members on the topics of education, DIE, recruitment and retention.
        One of the letters tried to address the topic of DIE with statistics. As a journal editor I immediately saw in the first page, so many grammatical errors that I would fail a junior high student for such writing. Even a PhD in physics does not guarantee the ablity to write decent, correct English prose.
        It is hard to take content seriously when the expression of it is so flawed.

    3. I’d count it. Incidentally, tutoring centers also cover a lot of these cases.

  7. “They will make calculated decisions to engage in activities for the express purpose of enhancing their applications…”

    Well of course they will game the system. But just imagine all the “diversity” that will produce! Of course it won’t mean anything, but it will look about right, and university administrators can congratulate themselves on a lifetime of achievement.

    Pass the Ayn Rand.

  8. The problem with Mandated Diversity Statements is that they are racist. By definition. On their face.

  9. “Are we perhaps better off letting people pursue their passions, giving support and encouragement to those who wish to make diversity a focus of their efforts, while also supporting and valuing the work of those who wish to find other ways to enhance their communities? Our belief is that the latter will lead to a healthier, more balanced higher education system and society.”

    Have you not heard that white silence is violence? You are either a racist or [openly proclaiming to be] anti-racist. Given that established a priori understanding, this statement is so racist I can’t even.

    Which brings to mind a question; are persons of color or other bona fide members of an “under represented population” required to meet these standards? Is it to be expected that a ground breaking mathematician who is Black, for instance, be required to prove that they have engaged in activities to better understand other communities? Can they show that they have engaged with Asian communities for instance, or do they just get a pass for being diversity personified?

  10. A lot of what we try and optimize for are actually threshold questions. And so our attempts to maximize merit lacks major utility. And oftentimes stops being about merit at all, but rather about more subjective sometimes unconscious factors.

    Oftentimes these unconscious factors include a bit of extra push for people who are similar to the selecting individual(s) demographically.

    Given that our meritocracy therefore isn’t, once the initial threshold of ability to do the job well is passed, I see no reason not to instantiate explicit, non merit-based criteria.

    1. There are jobs where merit is merely a threshold consideration. Factory line worker. Janitor. Garbage collector.

      There are an awful lot of jobs where merit isn’t really a threshold consideration. Engineer. Doctor. Lawyer. These are jobs that even once minimal competency is achieved, one person can do better than another.

      So I reject your premise. But,

      “Given that our meritocracy therefore isn’t, once the initial threshold of ability to do the job well is passed, I see no reason not to instantiate explicit, non merit-based criteria.”

      Yeah, I’m guessing the Aryan Nation would agree with you about that.

      1. I’m not advocating for minimal competency, I’m saying at some point you’re not really measuring who is better, you’re measuring noise based on the method of measurement and idiosyncratic preferences of the gatekeepers.

        Yes, you can explicitly include bad non-merit based factors that make society worse. But only allowing implicit inclusion of such factors has not lead to a fair society, just made you feel better about the status quo.

        1. “Yes, you can explicitly include bad non-merit based factors that make society worse. ”

          You’re still playing your, “My racial discrimination is GOOD racial discrimination, unlike that other guy’s!” game. I’m not going to play it.

          1. I’ve kept it general; it needn’t just be about race.

            If the playing field isn’t level, recognizing that and compensating isn’t discrimination.

            If you want to play dumb semantic games go ahead; that doesn’t make for a very robust policy discussion though.

            1. But I’m not selecting for a level of competence for the task at hand, I’m hiring for excellence to fill more complicated positions, down the road.
              You seem to be saying that once the pool of persons selected are selected they will all perform at the same level…somehow.

              1. This actually points the way to deal with Sarcastro’s (real) problem of noise or bias clogging up the merit-meter.

                You need to measure output as well as input. eg you might hypothesise that say the inherited oppression effects for black students are worth say 100 SAT points – ie if you admit a white candidate with a SAT score of q, then a black candidate with a SAT score of q – 100, has the same potential.

                So when you measure your students’ graduation score, or career success or whatever output measure you think best, then if your q – 100 black student does a lot better than your q white student, that implies your inherited oppression differential has been estimated to be too low. Maybe a q – 150 black student would have finished up equal to the q white student.

                Lotsa students, lotsa different majors, lotsa graduates, lotsa measures of life success. Over time you should have a vast database of statistics showing roughly how much you need to aim off your basic flawed merit predictors (like SAT) for different cateories of students. By whatever category you feel you might need to be aiming off in. Nor do you need to have a single aim off score for all subjects. Maybe you find you need to aim off a little more for STEM than you need to aim off for Postmodern Inca Knittting Studies.

                The point is that there’s an alternative to throwing your hands in the air and saying “oh noes there’s noise in our data, let’s give up”. If you find the bullets keep on hitting the bottom left corner of the target, you can adjust your aim up and to the right. You may adjust too much or too little, but if you keep trying you can work out what direction and magnitude of adjustment to make.

    2. Because “non merit-based criteria” is illegal discrimination in practice.

    3. A hypothetical:

      One candidate has three articles published in mid-range peer-review journals. Another has only one article, but it was published in a top-tier peer review journal. Both have excellent recommendations and writing samples, and comparable teaching portfolios.

      Does a hiring committee try to pick the best candidate based on this assessment? Yes. However, in situations like this, questions of “research potential” are not clear. Just like any hiring manager or chair, the answer often comes from qualitative and subjective information: how well they interview, how their exact specialties fit with the department, whether they’re willing to teach the gateway course for the major. Given that all of this can be summed up as “fit,” it’s not out of line to treat something like “whether the candidate can attract more students to the major through community engagement” or “whether the candidate can keep people in the major” as a relevant quality.

    4. Ah S0,
      “Oftentimes these unconscious factors include a bit of extra push for people who are similar to the selecting individual(s) demographically.”
      That is your non-falsifiable supposition.
      “Given that our meritocracy therefore isn’t,”
      A classic case of begging the question.
      “once the initial threshold of ability to do the job well is passed,”
      At a top 5 research university, we look for much more than just getting above a minimal threshold
      “I see no reason not to instantiate explicit, non merit-based criteria.”
      All such criteria are easily manipulated into political viewpoint bias.
      I don’t buy it.
      All

      1. 1) While I didn’t come with big facts, the idea that merit review is purely about merit is easily falsifiable if you talk to any merit reviewer. Tons of intangibles, reputation, gut, etc. at work. All of which are not amenable to conscious interrogation.

        2) ‘Therefore our meritocracy isn’t’ falls out of the above proposition, it is not begging a question. Therefore rarely is.

        3) Do a job well is not some initial threshold.

        4) Non-merit based criteria are no more or less amenable to political bias than merit-based ones.

        Among other things, I oversee merit review of grants. Generally the final decision is a toss-up between a number of strong teams all of whom will do a great project. Instead of counting angels on the head of a pin, I see no reason why we should look at some other criteria.

        1. All of which are not amenable to conscious interrogation.

          What makes you think that a measure has to be amenable to conscious interrogation to be valuable ? If you think about it for more than about twenty seconds, it would be astonishing if our feelz and gut and hunches were less accurate than random guesses. We’re evolved animals.

          We already know that there’s perceptual stuff being processed by the unconscious parts of our brains. And most animals don’t have conscious interrogation to fall back on – all they’ve got is feelz and gut and hunches. If evolution hasn’t tuned their instincts to better than random, it’s been sleeping on the job.

          Humans are pretty good at spotting liars and lies. And they are not using the predicate calculus to guide them. They’re using clues from facial expression, body posture, voice, eye movement – without even appreciating what they’re doing. Sure some good liars are successful at fooling averagely competent human lie detectors, but the largely non conscious lie detector systems are still pretty good.

          When I was required to go into the hiring game, I hired lots of smart mostly 20 somethings and 30 somethings, but I only regretted one. Everyone else turned out just fine, or very good, or even splendid. Indeed I got a sufficienty large proportion of splendids that I had a devil of a job getting out of this damn HR gig.

          The failure was the one time I broke my own self imposed rule – don’t hire unless you’re absolutely sure. Never give the benefit of the doubt. The candidate’s life history led me to be sympathetic, and so I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. Problem child from day 1. Didn’t last past day 365, but caused a lot of problems in the meantime. My feelz said no, my vestigial compassion gland said give her a chance.

          Mea culpa.

    5. Given that our meritocracy therefore isn’t, once the initial threshold of ability to do the job well is passed, I see no reason not to instantiate explicit, non merit-based criteria.

      Er, does this make any sense as a matter of math ? If your objective is to select the most meritful workforce / student body / whatev, and you employ a method that measures merit + certain amount of noise, then plainly you will fall short of the theoretical maximum of merit that you could have selected. Because noise.

      So if you then add to the mix a further element that you know ab initio is non-merit based, you’re going to finish up with a measure that represents merit + noise + something else but definitely not merit.

      When you rank your candidates according to their score on merit + noise + something else but definitely not merit, what reason do you have to believe that that ranking is closer to the theoretical pure merit ranking, than the old merit + noise ranking ?

      Unless you have very good reason to believe that your something else but definitely not noise component is somehow inversely correlated with the noise, and damping it.

      If you don’t then merely adding an extra spoonful of non-merit into the mix is much more like to move you away from the ideal merit only ranking.

      It’s a bit like recognising that the water coming from the tap has got some impurities in it that you can’t extract at reasoable cost, and recognising that therefore your water must be to some extent impure, you decide to wash your hands in your water before you drink it, because hey it’s impure anyway so a little more is not going to hurt.

  11. If the explanation for all disparities – race, sex, ethnicity (but curiously, not religion) – in “X” is that they are caused solely by discrimination then it makes sense that the answer to addressing these disparities is “diversity” or quotas or some sort of race/sex/ethnic based act. No neutral response will work.
    It’s this view that opponents must face. And it’s why one gets the racist/sexist charge in response.
    I am completely stumped as to how we as a nation, as a people, can bridge these huge divides over how America works and operates. There is almost no basis whatsoever for a discussion.

    1. The answer is what we were doing when we followed Dr. King’s teaching and those of Frederick Douglas and Booker T. Washington – before the left abandoned those ideas for tribalism.
      The idea was that blacks can thrive without the paternalistic “help” of the “enlightened” white man AND that the “help” is making is worse, not better.
      The idea that blacks, unlike other oppressed minorities can’t achieve for themselves is the most racist idea of all.

      1. What happens, when no matter how much is given to blacks, they never (as a group) are on the same economic/social (whatever criteria you use) level as other races?

        1. Maybe ask that question with an if, eh? Kinda tipping your hand a bit.

          1. Would you care to answer it?

            That I even ask the question tips my hand. lol.

            1. Not worth answering.

              We won’t know until we try.

              1. And won’t care. And “try” has infinite scope, so if you don’t get the ideal outcome, then by definition you didn’t really try (so therefore the non-preferred races need to be punished more severely).

                1. Do you think it’s already clear blacks have something fundamental preventing many of them from succeeding? If you don’t then shouldn’t we keep pushing?

                  There are plenty milestones and metrics in current diversity and inclusion efforts.

                  On the other hand, mad_kalak assumes maybe blacks are genetically inferior and will never be successful, and the only question is what to do when this is becomes unmistakable. And he wants to dwell on that point.

                  1. A lot more would succeed if the government school system and the teachers’ unions didn’t systematically prevent it. A lot more would succeed if there were entry-level job openings and rising wages instead of those jobs being filled by people who walked across the southern border.

                    Yeah, they can succeed.

                    The left is holding too many of the doors to success closed.

                    1. So you agree on the problem, but not on the solution.

                      OK. We can discuss that later.

                      Point is, m_k’s question is not a useful one, and his phrasing suggests he thinks about blacks in a way neither you nor I do.

              2. Ben is correct. No matter how hard we “try” it will never be enough.

                1. But do you think people like Sarcastr0 will ever get tired of hurting innocent people and making the world worse for everyone? Obviously some people just don’t care how much evil they do. And many leftists only hate and have no room in their heads for any thoughts of anything else.

                  I keep hoping there are some small but substantial percentage that might step back and say “enough” someday.

                  1. Yeah, that’s what I’m into – hurting innocent people and making the world worse.

                    On accounta my evil nature I can feel only hate.

                    Get off your dehumanizing hyperbole machine, it’s made you go wacky.

                    1. I was hoping you were one of the people who might stop doing (and supporting) things that hurt people someday.

                      – Giving people excuses for failure is harmful.
                      – Supporting the same old people who’ve failed cities for 50 years is harmful.
                      – Punishing non-preferred races with race preferences is harmful.
                      – Attacks on business harm the chances of anyone in America who wants to be a success.
                      – Environmentalism is harmful when (more than half of the time) it makes things worse for people.
                      – Pretending that government might fix things — when, look at the last 20-50 years, what did government fix? — is harmful.
                      – The completely unaccountable union monopoly on education is harmful.
                      – The blue city police unions and the elected government oversight of them is harmful.
                      – Turning universities into a progressive religious cult bent on the elimination of dissent is harmful.

                    2. Ben_, you think all that stuff is hurting people. But that’s not a view everyone shares. Most of what you say is ipse dixit; I can’t even argue against it because you’ve just declared stuff like Environmentalism makes things worse for people.

                      Listing things as evil to someone you’re in dialogue with and coming to the conclusion that they’re an evil hate-filled person who loves to hurt people is not really great debating technique.

                      In fact, it’s not a debating technique. Your post couldn’t have been for me, eh? It was just validating yourself.

                      Next time please pick a topic and stick to it without blowing up that someone is a hate-filled evil monster wrecking countless lives.

                    3. 99% of conversations with leftists or Dems reveal zero concern about the consequences of their policies. Hence my conclusion.

                      I still hold out hope that some do.

                    4. That’s bullshit, Ben. I haven’t even heard all these conversations but I know that’s bullshit. People don’t work like that.
                      Maybe they see benefits where you don’t or disagree with you on costs.

                      Have some humility, man, your worldview is not the unassailable truth.

                      We’ve discussed before that every policy decision has a cost, even the decision to maintain the status quo. You don’t get that, and in the end doubled back to the me being evil and full of hate etc. etc.

                    5. They just change the subject or name-call or both most of the time.

                      In the very, very rare instances they can stay on topic, I’ll hear a fact-free denial and then a conspiracy theory or story about how they’re protecting us from some bogeyman they imagine. Or they’ll justify intentionally hurting people today based on something from 40-200 years ago.

        2. It will be declared your fault and you will be punished based on your race (unless you are one of the preferred races) the rest of your life and generation after generation, forever.

          It’s about punishing you. It was never about anything else.

  12. The answer is what we were doing when we followed Dr. King’s teaching and those of Frederick Douglas and Booker T. Washington – before the left abandoned those ideas for tribalism.
    The idea was that blacks can thrive without the paternalistic “help” of the “enlightened” white man AND that the “help” is making is worse, not better.
    The idea that blacks, unlike other oppressed minorities can’t achieve for themselves is the most racist idea of all.

  13. Business ideas:

    1. Write software to generate these for people statements. They only need to be varied enough not to be obvious and not provably false.

    2. Get a few people together, create a pre-packaged plan. Sell it to the prospective faculty member who will then give it back to the “diverse people” he bought it from as “instruction”. Your organization serves minorities. (If it doesn’t actually serve minorities, put up a rainbow flag and declare yourself a sexual minority, and when someone asks the details, tell them the details are private. You can do just enough of something to make it not technically false.)

    If you can’t destroy their evil game, then win it. If anyone gets inside, become a covert agent.

  14. I will begin to take conservative whining about this issue seriously when conservative-controlled campuses stop routinely collecting loyalty oaths, requiring prescribed statements of faith, imposing litmus tests, engaging in vivid viewpoint-based discrimination (in everything from admissions to firings, and discipline to hirings), and the like.

    Or, at least, it would be a good start were conservatives to denounce those shabby institutions and practices, and advocate denial of accreditation to those substandard, censorship-shackled schools.

  15. “The Problem with Mandated Diversity Statements in Faculty Hiring and Promotion”

    Professors Redstone and Villasenor:

    Where and when do you address “The Problem With Mandated Conformity Statements in Faculty Hiring and Promotion” (of the type customarily found on conservative-controlled campuses)?

    There is no need to respond unless you wish to be taken seriously outside the clingerverse.

    1. Which ones are you talking about? Are any of them state schools, partly taxpayer funded, and subject to Equal Protection guarantees under the 14th Amdt? I will suggest the opposite, that for every conservative taxpayer funded college and university you will find dozens of liberal/progressive ones, where open discrimination based on race and ethnic background is justified based on supposed systemic racism.

      1. Why are you limiting your observation to state schools or “partly taxpayer funded” schools?

        These two authors, Prof. Volokh, FIRE, and other right-wing critics of liberal-libertarian mainstream schools do not restrict their aim in that manner. They take plenty of misleading, cherry-picked swipes at private schools (so long as those schools are not among the hundreds of conservative-controlled institutions, in which case the schools tend to get an undeserved pass).

    2. Artie One-note strikes again.
      Who gives a shit about your hobbyhorse?

      1. I just like pointing out that these two right-wing authors will confirm — with their silence — that they’re so full of crap that the fly is currently en route from Pence’s head to their offices.

        1. another typical non-answer

  16. First, this excerpt makes an assumption that charity and community engagement would not otherwise count for a job candidate in situations where a literal statement is not asked for. That misses a larger point – these activities very frequently do count in both the hiring process and in the service component of tenure and promotion. Service learning can be a major component of someone’s teaching portfolio; their cover letter can address their substantive community engagement; their CV can represent the volume or quality of service activities. These are all well-established ways that institutions seek out candidates that will serve the greater university community, and often become important as a way to distinguish between two candidates with stellar research records.

    Second, I don’t see it as out of line to produce statements oriented toward what a university values. I’ve also had to write statements of teaching philosophy, statements about research methodology, and statements about service. If I have to give a statement of belief to apply to a private religious institution like Baylor, then a statement of commitment to a university value like diversity seems reasonable. That’s especially true since, as recently as a year ago, such a statement has been a requirement for only a few jobs in my corner of the humanities.

    Finally, in terms of the hypothetical, in my hiring committee experience, such a candidate will do very well. If she gets over the initial hurdle with her volume and quality of publications, she can talk coherently about teaching, and she has decent interview skills, the only other issue will be fit. Aspects like her experience with community engagement would only come into play if there were two candidates roughly equivalent in other qualities, in which case a record of service would be more important. (Why wouldn’t a school want both a stellar researcher and someone who works with the community or garners public attention?)

    So this hypothetical feels irrelevant – rare are the jobs in which an accomplished mathematician would be passed over for a less accomplished mathematician because the latter did more community engagement. That isn’t a thing that happens often, even among schools that require the statement.

  17. Improving diversity is a worthy endeavor.

    “Improving” how ?

    Is having more of it an improvement ? Or less of it ?

    Diversity – along whatever axis you are measuring it – stands in opposition to uniformity. Is uniformity a bad thing ? Do we want more diversity in respect of propensity to throw egg rolls at the lecturer ? Or do we want students to be relentlessly uniform in their lack of enthusiasm for egg roll throwing ?

    Obviously, the “diversity” being discussed here is diversity of “race”, somehow defined. But why would racial diversity be a good thing – over and above the natural diversity that might arise from non racially discriminatory admissions ? If, say, 65% of STEM admissions, on a meritocratic basis would be of Asian students, why would rigging the admissions on a racial basis to make it 55% or 75% be better ?

    I dare say that very few admissions to the top ballet schools are of fat old men, rather than thin young girls, but is that a bad thing ? Maybe the thin young girls can reasonably be expected to do better at ballet school, learn more, and provide more to society a result of their admission, than fat old men.

    Why is the ballet school, society, the taxpayer, or the thin young girl refused admission, contra-merit, as a result of a diversity program, benefitted by this extra ameritocratic diversity program ?

    You might argue that the fat old man admitted contra merit on this diversity program benefits, though even this is very debatable.

    All in all, I question the premise. Diversity is not an unconditional good, any more than uniformity. The appropriate balance depends on the details.

    As to racially gerrymandered uniformity, I find it difficult to perceive merit in it at all.

    PS I have no plans to run for office.

  18. A plot to kidnap and possibly murder a sitting governor is going to be in the new cycle for maybe half a day

    1. Governors plot to send police to kidnap people all the time. And in this case Whitmer has announced her intention to abuse her authority despite a constitutional ruling against her.

      1. Open wider, Ben.

        Or not.

        Your comfort is no longer a substantial concern.

      2. This went in the wrong thread.

        But that’s an amazingly bad take, Ben.

        This was attempted domestic terrorism, and maybe you should take a stronger line against it even if you agree with the terrorists’ politics.

        1. Changed you tune on whether arrests are “kidnapping” since the Portland incident with the US Marshals? Is burning buildings domestic terrorism, or is it a mostly peaceful protest?

          1. That was bad. This is bad.

            Terrorism generally involves death.

            1. Maybe the Feds will decide to just drop the charges like Soros-funded district attorneys routinely drop charges against “mostly peaceful protestors” terrorizing the country.

        2. Read the story. Looks like there’s a serious push to blame this on the Michigan Militia, but what seems to have happened is that the plotters who were NOT Michigan Militia, (Maybe some left-wing militia.) tried to recruit the MM to help them. I’m not seeing any details in the stories suggesting that they actually got anywhere with that. There’s the usual “linked to” weasel words. “Linked to”, in my experience, means little more than that somebody mentioned them together.

          One of the ringleaders, Caserta, wasn’t your typical Michigan Militia type. Notice the flag behind him, typical of what Antifa waves at riots?

          Apparently the feds have been watching these dudes for a long time now, and finally decided to shut them down.

          1. Yeah, it looks like these guys were also explicitly anti-Trump (“Trump is a tyrant!”) anarchists, as well as anti-Whitmer anarchists.
            Other than being a “militia” (if they actually called themselves that) I don’t see any way this group was a “right-wing militia”.

            1. What can I say? Whitmer is a unifier. Both right wingers AND Antifa despise her.

  19. Lots of focus in the comments about the D in DIE, but nothing about Equity.
    In fact violations in Equity, especially toward students and early career professional, are the most common faults that I see in the institutions that I am asked to review.
    BUT fixing those cost money in the present.

    1. Isn’t the argument that diversity efforts are an attempt to create equity?

      1. You can pick equity in treatment and rights, or equity in outcomes. You generally can’t get both at the same time.

  20. Yes, but that is only one aspect of equity.
    And if there are not efforts to improve equity when people are in the door, then getting them in the door is nearly a wasted effort.

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