Monday, October 1, 2018

We can all agree that we don't like wasting $185 million on policies that don't work.

The source is the Columbia student newspaper so some discounting of factual veracity might be warranted. But if true, striking.

From New faculty diversity data shows stagnation in percentage of black, Latinx faculty by Emma Buzzbee. I am no fan of government sanctioned racism and divisiveness. I am even less of a fan of misallocation of scarce resources for moral vanity projects which is what a lot of this appears to be.
Though percentages of minority faculty have increased by 3.6 percent across the University over the past 10 years, percentages of black and Latinx faculty have remained largely stagnant in that same time frame, newly-released data from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion shows.

Columbia has led elite institutions in the mission to increase faculty diversity since the formation of the Office of Faculty Diversity and Inclusion in 2002; the University has designated a total of 185 million dollars to the effort since 2005.

Moving forward, the office will focus on an expansion of pipeline programs that encourage undergraduates of color to apply to Ph.D. programs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The new release from the office also includes a draft of better practices for faculty retention—specifically in regard to minority faculty members.
I have explored some of these issues in Kabuki theater of group identity or real commitment to improving the lives of individuals - a choice, No correlation between this type of diversity and performance, Diversity of talent is the predicate to achievement, not diversity of critical theory identities, If you keep hearing a dog whistle, perhaps you are the dog, and Diversity chicken and egg question.

It is very similar to the finding reported in Well, that's a quick $250-500,000 expense which can be saved. -
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 for new tenure and non-tenure track hires, faculty hired with tenure, or for university administrator hires.
From an academic study, The Impact of Chief Diversity Officers on Diverse Faculty Hiring.

The academics above are looking at the effectiveness of Diversity Officers. The Columbia students are looking at the cost of diversity programs. $185 million is a lot of money for no result.

As often happens, this is all about sponsored racism. Buzzbee focuses on "underrepresented minorities." These numbers might not have changed significantly in a decade but I would suspect that minority numbers have increased materially. The problem, for the Social Justice Jacobins, is that they are the wrong minorities. They are East Asians and South Asians. I suspect that at elite universities, you have a similar situation as exists in Silicon Valley - whites, hispanics, and African Americans are all underrepresented because East and South Asians are materially overrepresented.

If your core ideology is Classical Liberal and focused on freedom of individuals, this is not a problem. People gravitate to the positions they are interested and competent in and those interests and competencies likely vary, for many reasons, between different cultural groups. If you are a Social Justice Jacobin focusing on Group Identity (rather than individual liberty) then the fact that some minorities are over-represented while others are underrepresented is an existential insult that has to be fixed, regardless of what the individuals want or prefer. The Statists know best.

But spending $185 million to improve institutionalized racism disappoints everyone. Classical Liberals because it is institutionalized racism and a waste of scarce resources and Social Justice Jacobins because it failed to work.

From Ivy League school has little to show for $185 million spent on 'faculty diversity' by Toni Airaksinen there is this additional insight.
Heather Mac Donald, author of the new book The Diversity Delusion told Campus Reform by email that she’s not surprised the $185 million in funding didn’t work, suggesting that the diversity efforts were “founded upon a patent untruth,” since many in academia initially theorized that the "reason for the low numbers of underrepresented minorities in faculty positions was bias against competitively qualified candidates of color."

“Hiring committees, the thinking went, needed to be encouraged (or pressured) to overcome those biases through the endless generation of ‘diversity metrics’ and the application of ‘implicit bias’ training," Mac Donald explained.

But this was all a delusion, Mac Donald argues.

Hiring committees were already dedicated to diversity efforts —and according to Mac Donald's research — many already “went out of their way to try to find even remotely qualified minorities that had not already been snapped up by better institutions.”

So, the idea that universities were unilaterally discriminating against minorities hasn't been born out by any evidence.
Social Justice Jacobins have been wedded to the idea that America is uniquely institutionally racist as are all White Americans. While there is plenty of historical evidence to indicate that American culture did not have an immaculate birth, sharing the human prejudices evidenced everywhere else in the world, it has also set a higher goal for itself:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
While we still fall a long way short of fulfilling that color-blind ideal, we have moved a long ways forwards and there is much evidence to suggest that institutional and individual prejudice is not the impediment it might once have been. When we examine only the ideologically sanctioned explanations ("its all racism") when the real root causes for variance lie elsewhere, we will continue to make little progress and waste much money. And lose the consent of the governed. High cost education being one of the greater impediments to everyone and that high cost deriving in part from failed ideological investments such as Columbia's efforts to vanquish non-existent racism amongst its faculty (or, at least, not in the form assumed).

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