Yes, We’re Broke, But Leave the Diversity Machine Alone

Columnist Mike Adams has some fun today with the strange decision of his college, the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, to lump together two serious academic departments (because of a shortage of funding) while once again expanding the campus diversity bureaucracy (for which no funding shortage ever seems to appear).

As Adams figures it, the university will save $80,000 a year lumping together the Physics and Physical Oceanographic Department with the Geography and Geology Department, while committing more funds to five diversity-multicultural offices, each apparently run by someone commanding a hefty salary.

This is an old story on our campuses. Colleges and universities enact severe budget cuts, dropping programs and letting teachers go, while unapologetically expanding their already swollen diversity bureaucracy. This is because diversity now has the status of an established religion on our campuses, while actual teaching deals only in mere learning.

Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone,” the University of California’s vice president for budget and capital resources warned about the system’s financial crisis in July. Not quite to the bone. Heather Mac Donald writes:

“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.”

UC Berkeley’s new vice chancellor for equity and inclusion, Gibor Basri, has 17 people working for him in his immediate office, including a “chief of staff,” two “project/policy analysts,” and a “director of special projects.” Says Mac Donald: “The funding propping up Basri’s vast office could support many an English or history professor. According to state databases, Basri’s base pay in 2009 was $194,000, which does not include a variety of possible add-ons, including summer salary and administrative stipends. By comparison, the official salary for assistant professors at UC starts at around $53,000….

UC San Diego just lost a trio of prestigious cancer researchers to Rice University. Rice had offered them 40 percent pay raises over their total compensation packages, which at UCSD ranged from $187,000 to $330,000 a year. They take with them many times that amount in government grants. Scrapping the new Vice Chancellorship for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion could have saved at least one, if not two, of those biologists’ positions….The UC Berkeley Initiative for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, announced last year, boasts five new faculty chairs in “diversity-related research”—one of which will be “focused on equity rights affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community….California’s budget crisis could have had a silver lining if it had resulted in the dismantling of that (diversity) infrastructure—but the power of the diversity complex makes such an outcome unthinkable.”


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

    View all posts

20 thoughts on “Yes, We’re Broke, But Leave the Diversity Machine Alone

  1. @Professor: “diversity programs would not have to exist if academic departments across university campuses infused diversity (which substantial evidence indicates is critical to education and learning)”
    I call BS on that. There is zero evidence that diversity is critical to education or learning. Go on, post some tendentious, poorly-designed studies that purport to support your statement. They are fun to pick apart.
    Just think how irrational this really is. For example, are students at homogenous universities in Korea and Japan somehow not learning because they are missing the “critical” diversity component?
    Also, notice the circular reasoning of this poster. He takes it as a given that diversity is required. So diversity programs would not have to exist if people would only infuse diversity in everything they do. Except what does diversity have to do with electrical engineering?

  2. What most never seem to realize, or more likely have forgotten, is that the diversity evident in this nation is a RESULT of past immigration and assimilation of our parents and their forebears into what used to be the “melting pot” that was America. Then, you could ask your neighbor what his nationality was and he would proudly reply (often in broken, heavily-accented English,) “I am an American!” There was no hyphenation in his words, no qualification. He may have eaten the same foods and spoken the old language among his family, house of worship our social club, but the drive to “fit in,” to BE an American, was paramount. When we left our houses and went to town, we knew what to expect, what polity and propriety were and, though there were prejudices to overcome, when America was threatened, we stood as one. I learned to use chopsticks and re-learned the wonder of snow in grade school from a fellow strident just recently in from the P.I.; heck, there are too many of those types of incidences from all over to mention. But their experiences, brought here and added to the melting pot, made us ALL stronger and our culture richer. Now, the experiences once so freely, proudly shared, are hoarded as something that makes the newcomer “unique” and “special” and, more deserving and, sadly, different. I welcome anyone who follows our laws and enters this county legally, assimilates into our culture (which includes treating others as you would yourself like to be treated) and embraces the opportunities afforded by this nation. I eschew those who would force their old culture onto our own, demanding that the people of this nation cater to their whims and desires, and hold themselves to be somehow superior because they are different. We should, therefore, not strive for diversity, as that demands we sort people by their perceived or professed differences; rather, we should strive to include and be included, to the betterment of all. ” From Many, One.” Diversity will, as it has in the past, result.

  3. Market forces at work. The Colleges that put the sciences first will attract the best people. Those like UC Berkeley that trust in name and past reputation but won’t pony up the effort will eventually lose them.
    The best engineering programs at California universities exist on campuses that are quite literally a tale of two cities. If they are too divided they cannot stand. As in, have to mantain those programs with the gear and people to keep them going, and if that is no longer a priority other universities in the US or overseas will gladly take the lead.

  4. I find the comments on this page interesting. I also find it funny that some of the comments following this article, and the author of the article itself, do not acknowledge that diversity programs would not have to exist if academic departments across university campuses infused diversity (which substantial evidence indicates is critical to education and learning) into their pedagogy and curriculum. Unfortunately, they refuse to do so. Perhaps it is the academic departments that are failing to keep up with the diversification of society and making themselves expendable. And, to the Scott Hoffman, it is easy to preach colorblindness when you are the one who benefits from it (which is why it is usually White people who preach is why White people are usually preaching it). Dr. Martin Luther King also noted that we should not settle for the oppression that exists within society today. In my opinion, when every academic department is reflecting the diversity of our communities, then we have no need to sustain diversity offices. And, that is a long ways away.

  5. Why should anyone be surprised. There is no intellectual diversity on college campuses. if you are not lockstep with the prevailing liberal mindset forget about getting a tenure track position.Then there is no one to complain about the idiocy of these positions. Remember Stein’s Law: things that can’t continue, won’t. When the price of tuition gets too high and no one can afford (or want) to go, this crap will stop.

  6. Seems it’s much more important to these propaganda and indoctrination factories sometimes called universities to continue their repressive, discriminatory, punitive actions than to actually educate. The hatred these so called educators demonstrate is shocking. And sickening.

  7. Bah. Who needs cancer researchers when you can have a whole industry dedicated to ….uh, whatever is hip this week.

  8. I went to high school with Gibor Basri. Super-smart guy. But I wish that he had stayed in astrophysics or whatever his earlier academic field was.
    And you could save even more money by cutting sports. Why in America (and only here) is it a university’s mission to supply entertainment for people with no connection to the institution?
    Get rid of the overpaid coaches along with the diversity czars. (Sorry, Gibor.)

  9. This continues the trend which I’ll term the “NPRizing” of liberal institutions.
    When the choice is between keeping a broader audience and an ideologically-pure message, the message rules. The institution then becomes less engaged in the broader American cultural marketplace.
    As a result the institution losses public funding and support, but, railing against the philistines, accepts this cruel fate. A reduced institution asks for private contributions, and stays to its left-liberal message to the very end.

  10. Dr. MLK Jr. had a dream of a ‘colorblind’ society, where one would be judged on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. This is how things should be, but the democrats (left) are obviously adamantly opposed to this ‘dream’, some may ask why, but the answer is that the left has sold the ‘dream’ down the river for political graft and expediency. Sadly, the only politics that the left understands is that of divisiveness, hate and jealousy.

  11. Just goes to show how delusional and left-wing academia has become.
    The entire “diversity racket” has negative value and hurts the minority students and academics that it purports to help. Like “affirmative action” it stigmatizes those who would have achieved their position without quotas and without lower standards.
    Substantial money is expended on worse-than-useless sinecures and paid to a cabal of parasites.
    In the meantime, we decrease money and focus on the basic job of a university, i.e. teaching.

  12. Well, the colleges are already drowning graduates in oceans of debt which they’ll never be able to pay off with their useless degrees. Seems like they are trying just as hard as they can to demonstrate to the world just how useless and irrelevant they have become. Good job.

  13. And here I thought getting a degree in some kind of diversity studies would be meaningless. Apparently a PhD in biology is worth less than a BA in Womyns Studies…at least in the UC system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *