Monday, October 17, 2005

Provost Wake’s Missive on “Diversity”

The following is from Madeline Wake, the Provost of Marquette outlining her “diversity” policy.
Directive on Faculty Hiring


Our current 10.6 percent diversity among full-time faculty is out of step with local and national demographics. Also, our students miss out on the richness of a more diverse faculty. We will not increase faculty diversity if our hiring pools remain most white Americans.

As announced at the September 18th Deans Council meeting, a faculty diversity promotion directive will be in place for faculty hired during this academic year. Effective October 1, 2005, new full-time faculty hires will not be approved unless there is a diverse candidate in the pool. “Diversity candidates” is defined as different from White Americans and includes those from under-represented groups, such as, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans as well as foreign born individuals, such as those from Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. Formal offers and contracts require my approval through Suzanne Abler.

In view of the difficulties of recruiting for some disciplines and the prohibition of requiring a candidate to disclose race or nationality, there is a process for rare exceptions. Dr. Keenan Grenell, Associate Provost for Diversity, will assist in seeking diverse candidates for any pool. If the search coordinator requests an exception to the directive, the request must be accompanied by letters from the dean and from Dr. Grenell attesting to the effort to develop a diverse pool and recommending the exception.

Please contact me if you have any questions.
We’ll have a more complete analysis of this soon, but a few things are to be noted:
  • It’s not defined here whether the pool is everybody who applies, or a “short list” of people who get intense consideration, or those interviewed. But Wake told Inside Higher Ed (in the words of the reporter) “in a department that receives hundreds of applications and then interviews a dozen to pick a few finalists, she said that she would want to see a minority candidate in the dozen. . . .”
  • The real “wild card” here is the inclusion of foreign born candidates who may not be members of any politically correct victim group. Keenan Grenell actually told the Marquette Tribune that those folks don’t really count.
  • It’s clear that departments are expected to discriminate against white American candidates if necessary to get a “diversity candidate” on the list.
  • No thought or analysis has gone into the claim that 10.6% “diversity” is too low. The assumption appears to be that minorities should constitute the same percentage of university faculty as they do the population, notwithstanding that they may be more likely to drop out of high school and never go to college, or to go into (say) business or government rather than into academia.

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