Thursday, October 4, 2018

Columbia's Diversity Boondoggle

Here’s a story to brighten up your day… and to confirm what you already suspected. Columbia University has spent nearly $200 million to increase faculty diversity since 2005. The result: no increased faculty diversity. The university created a bureaucracy that wastes money and accomplishes nothing. Who could have imagined such a thing?

Campus Reform has the story (via Maggie’s Farm):

A newly released report reveals that Columbia University spent more than $185 million to increase “faculty diversity” but that it has effectively had no impact.

According to a September 13 report, Columbia University has spent $185 million since 2005 to increase the proportion of racial and ethnic minorities hired as faculty and tenured faculty professors. However, despite the $185 million spent, the proportion of black and Latinx faculty members have largely remained “stagnant” and, in some years, faculty diversity got worse, as 2017 saw a .05 percent drop in black faculty members.

One exception is women. More and more faculty members are female. Of course, the article remarks, this might reflect the fact that teaching has increasingly become a woman’s field:

Women faculty are the only demographic that has seen gains since the school started investing in faculty diversity, though the increase cannot necessarily be linked to the investment, as women are now the majority in higher education more broadly.

Campus Reform wants to know where the money came from. It asked the university and did not get an answer:

Campus Reform reached out to Columbia University to ask how exactly the $185 million was spent — and if any of the funds came from taxpayer sources — but the school did not respond despite multiple inquiries.

We would also like to know how much of these funds were added to student tuition bills.

Campus Reform interviewed Heather Mac Donald. She pulls back the curtain on the fraud:

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.

She added that the university could have found much better ways to spend the money:

Further, Mac Donald suggested that the $185 million should have been used elsewhere.

“Vast sums of money have been diverted to Columbia’s diversity bureaucracy — that could have been better spent on scholarships for gifted students, library acquisitions, or basic research,” Mac Donald explained.

And she urged the Columbia University diversity office to rethink its approach.

“Social justice is not the purpose of a university. Passing on our cultural inheritance and generating new knowledge is. Identity politics should have no role in Columbia's mission.

But if Columbia is determined to pursue social justice, it should disband the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion and all related diversity functions and spend the money on full-time tutors for inner-city children and inner-city Scout troops.”


MikeyParks said...

How much money would it cost to demand that minorities go to school, listen in class better, do their homework, learn more, know more, care more. These aren't things that an academic committee can solve. It starts in the home with parenting.

Sam L. said...

" some years, faculty diversity got worse, as 2017 saw a .05 percent drop in black faculty members." A twentieth of one percent drop. That would be one person out of 200. That's a SEVERE loss.

Dr. Irredeemable Dreg said...

But their Diversity Team is diverse. So that's something. If you can't find a black lesbian professor of cascade optoelectronics with a publication and grant writing record appropriate to the institutional reputation and hunger for Federal $$$, you can always poach a disgruntled GS-6 HUD forms administrator with a "professional" MA from a Grievance Studies program to be the Deputy Assistant Dean of Intersectional Sing-Alongs. Makes the Annual Report numbers look better.