UC Berkeley’s persistent lack of faculty diversity prompts efforts to address issue

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In 1989, a group of graduate students exposed what they called the “Zero Club” — the 28 departments at UC Berkeley with no underrepresented minority faculty.

In 2015, 20 of those 28 departments are still in existence, and despite efforts to increase diversity, 16 of the 20 still have no black or Latino faculty.

Recently, both the Graduate Assembly and the ASUC have addressed this issue by passing resolutions targeting faculty diversity. With the idea of tackling the issue directly, the assembly passed a bill in April endorsing the election of graduate students to participate in the hiring process as full voting members of the faculty search committee.

There are many factors that contribute to a lack of diversity and delay the efficacy of new policies, such as implicit bias, few underrepresented minorities in the application pool and slow turnover rates for tenured faculty.

“Diversity is a right and a public good,” said Iman Sylvain, external affairs vice president for the Graduate Assembly. “To have one voting graduate student is a big commitment in terms of democratizing that process.”

Numbers of underrepresented minority and women faculty continue to lag after years of campus equal-opportunity employment efforts. Proportions of underrepresented minorities and female faculty often fall behind placement goals, and even those placement goals are often far from representative of California’s demographics. Often, both black and Latino faculty are simply absent from departments or academic committees.

Diversifying departments

UC Berkeley’s faculty diversity falls well behind the relative diversity of California’s population, and recent campus reports show that it also lags behind diversity in the academic job market.

In 2012, there were more than 130 underrepresented minorities among UC Berkeley faculty out of 1,620 full-time faculty, or about 8 percent. Underrepresented minorities make up more than 45 percent of California’s population and continue to rise in proportion. According to census data, the California Latino population surpassed the white population in 2014.

Within tenure-track faculty, underrepresented minorities are underutilized in every scientific field, according to a 2014 UC Berkeley report, which defines underutilization as “having fewer minorities or women in a particular job group than would reasonably be expected given their availability in the job market.” In other words, there are proportionally more underrepresented minorities who hold doctorates in the academic pipeline than the campus hires.

Among tenured faculty, blacks and Latinos are underutilized in about half of academic fields, especially in the sciences. In the departments of economics and political science, there are no black professors.

“I think there’s this conversation about … not enough diversity in the pipeline, and it’s given as an excuse to not hire diverse candidates or evaluate them equally,” Sylvain said. “I know there are diverse candidates in the (pipeline). The university is not making itself appealing to diverse applicants.”

Diversity controversy

In 2014, environmental science, policy and management professor Carolyn Finney was denied tenure, sparking an online petition to reverse the decision, which the campus ultimately upheld. Sylvain, one of Finney’s graduate students, participated in a protest of the decision in May.

The hiring and tenure processes are isolated from student involvement, largely controlled by committees that often have no underrepresented minorities. The campus budget committee, which makes final recommendations on all promotion and tenure cases, has had one underrepresented minority member in 25 years and currently has none, according to David Stark, director of Stiles Hall, a nonprofit community service agency affiliated with the campus.

Finney believes that the tenure process, currently opaque to protect professors going through it, should be more transparent.

“It protects the anonymity of those who can say what they want with no repercussions,” she said. “When it comes to bias or prejudice, (tenure committee members) can say whatever they want and are never called out on it, which is really dangerous.”

Over the past four years, UC Berkeley’s Division of Equity and Inclusion, created in 2006, has developed an equity adviser network of one tenured professor in each department who evaluates diversity throughout the hiring process.

The advisers compare diversity measures twice during any hiring process: once to check if the search pool represents demographics of available people with doctorates in the field, and once to check if the short list for hiring represents the search pool. If it does not, they ask for the search pool to be expanded. Numbers of underrepresented minority faculty have increased as a result of these measures, said Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion Gibor Basri, who announced last year that he will soon be stepping down.

Basri said that while percentages of black hires have mostly stayed the same in the last 20 years, underrepresented minority faculty and female faculty are granted tenure at the same rate as white or male faculty.

According to Stark, underrepresented minority faculty frequently take on more mentorship responsibilities for students, leaving them with less time to publish research, because of their roles as support structures for underrepresented minority students on a largely Asian and white campus.

“It can be difficult for graduate students of color to find mentors when there are few reflections of themselves in faculty,” Sylvain said.

Finney says she was criticized for publishing a book written in accessible instead of purely academic language, as well as for taking on more public outreach engagements than her peers.

In 2013, the UC President’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion recommended annual transparent reporting by the campus on tenure-track hiring and promotion to senior administration, as well as key academic committee membership, citing UCLA as an example of this type of reporting. Then-UC president Mark Yudof endorsed the recommendations, which were sent to campus chancellors.

Out of 89 academic personnel committee or budget committee members on all nine UC campuses, five are underrepresented minorities. Three of those five are at UCLA.

Brilliant versus bossy

The issues that underrepresented minority and female faculty face frequently intersect. Among UC Berkeley tenured faculty, women are underutilized in every field except environmental design and information, according to a campus report, and out of the 89 UC academic personnel committee or budget committee members, only 28 are women.

Basri said that significant progress has been made in the hiring of female faculty, with new hires of women at about 40 percent, but that the slow rate of faculty turnover keeps the total percentage of female faculty at about 30 percent.

“At our current (hiring) rate of 40 percent, we would achieve 40 percent total headcount in the year 2040,” Basri said. “We need to do better than 40 percent in hiring if we want that to happen earlier.”

The campus has also implemented family-friendly policies in order to retain females with doctorates, who leave academia at a higher rate than males with doctorates. In the early 2000s, Basri said, female assistant professors had children at a significantly lower rate than their male counterparts, but since these policies have been put in place, that disparity no longer exists.

But Leslie Salzinger, a campus professor of gender and women’s studies, says implicit bias continues to affect how female faculty are treated.

Female professors are evaluated more harshly than male professors, according to a recent study by Northeastern University that analyzed Rate My Professor reviews. In performance reviews, students are also more likely to describe male professors as “brilliant,” “awesome” or “knowledgeable” and female professors as “bossy” or “annoying.”

“Jobs are gendered, meaning our ideas about what makes an authoritative lecturer … those images that we carry, are highly masculinized,” Salzinger said.

Implicit bias is also well documented against underrepresented minorities, especially blacks, showing that resumes are less likely to receive an interview if they have stereotypically black names and that faculty members at universities are more likely to reply to emails with stereotypically white names.

In hiring new professors, “we’ve consistently chosen white men,” Sylvain said. “I asked faculty (about hiring), and it’s a lot of ‘they’re a good fit,’ which means they’re comfortable going out to have a beer with them.”

Seats for graduate students

The Graduate Assembly resolution in April, authored by Sylvain and the assembly’s former internal vice president Mary Flores, aims to increase faculty diversity through the appointment of at least two elected graduate students as full voting members on the faculty search committee.

The resolution doesn’t guarantee change, but it means the Graduate Assembly executive board now has support from the graduate student body to advocate to the administration at least two graduate student seats. Graduate student delegates in each department will also urge their respective departments to support the resolution, Sylvain said.

In addition, Basri said the campus will announce new diversity initiatives in the fall.

Sylvain hopes graduate student representatives will challenge discrimination in faculty hiring.

“We have the ability to make a really inclusive, beautiful, vibrant, diverse university, but it’s going to take some effort,” Sylvain said. “This conversation has been going on for 30 years, but the administration has been slow to react because (change) challenges the power structure.”

Contact Madeleine Pauker at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @powkur.

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  • David Smith

    There is nothing at the linked timeline in your message that indicates Princeton had a written policy of not admitting Blacks till the 1969/1970 Academic year.

    From linked timeline…

    1947: Joseph Ralph Moss �51, believed to be the University�s
    first regularly-admitted black undergraduate, arrived on campus in the fall of
    1947, only months after Jackie Robinson integrated basebal

    1963: The Prince­ton Coop­er­a­tive School-College pro­gram was estab­lished, aim­ing to “enlarge the pool of qual­i­fied Negro can­di­dates for higher edu­ca­tion.�
    It later sought to include stu­dents from other socio-economically dis­ad­van­taged
    groups from area pub­lic and pri­vate schools.

    1966: Carl Fields developed the “Family
    Sponsor Program” which paired Black students and local Black families,
    creating a host “home away from home.” Jim Floyd, Jr. ’69�s parents, Jim and Fannie
    Floyd, were among the first family participants.

    1967: The Association of Black Collegians (ABC) was created
    at Princeton to focus on the specific concerns of African American
    students. That year ABC presented “The Future of the Black
    Undergraduate,� a University-sponsored conference, which attracted 200
    black students from major colleges and universities throughout the northeastern
    U.S.

    1968: The Frederick Douglass Awards were established by the University, at the
    recommendation of Carl A. Fields, to recognize one or more seniors exhibiting
    “courage, leadership, intellectual achievement and a willingness to contribute
    unselfishly toward a deeper understanding of the experiences of racial
    minorities and who, in so doing, reflect the tradition of service embodied in
    education at Princeton.� The first awards were presented on
    Class Day to ABC leaders, Paul Williams �68 and Deane Buchanan �68.

    1969: First Black Undergraduate Women Students on campus and they were
    given the friendly moniker the “Dirty Dozen�: Linda Black­burn �71,
    Ter­rell Nash �71, and Carla Wil­son �71 became the first black women to
    receive undergraduate degrees; Vera Marcus �72 was the first admitted black
    female freshman to graduate; Juanita Ray �71; Michele Page �72; Celeste
    Brickler �73; Tonna Gibert �73; Barbara Green �73; Carolyn Upshaw �73; LauraThomas �74 and Jan Robinson �75.

    The Program in African American Studies was created.

    Robert Rivers �53 was selected by the board to be a
    University trustee, the first black alumnus to be so appointed. The
    same year, Brent Henry �69 was voted one of the first two young
    alumni trustees, becoming the first black alumnus to be elected trustee.

    And at this link regarding Spring 1968 at Princeton:
    http://www.princeton.edu/~paw/archive_new/PAW07-08/15-0715/features_1968.html

    There were three dozen African-American undergraduates on campus that
    spring, and most marched to Walter B. Lowrie House, the president’s residence,
    an hour before midnight on Sunday, April 7, to remonstrate when President
    Robert F. Goheen ’40 *48 decided not to cancel classes on Tuesday, the
    day of Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. Goheen had assured students,
    faculty, and staff they could spend as much time as they wished that day
    commemorating King’s life, but said official activities would pause only
    for a moment of silence at noon. Going ahead with the pursuit of education
    “may well be the best tribute we can pay this great man,” the
    president reasoned.

    A week later, the admission office announced that the number of black
    students admitted in the next entering class had more than tripled. At
    Commencement, there would be a surprise addition to the awards printed
    in the formal program: ABC leaders Buchanan and Williams were asked to
    step forward to receive the first Frederick Douglass Service Award. “It
    was a tremendous surprise,” says Buchanan. “I was just amazed.
    The theme of ‘Princeton in the nation’s service’ has always been
    a statement of significance for the University. … This was the University
    recognizing the importance of generating student leadership among blacks.”
    His co-winner, now Paul X. Carryon ’68, became a cardiologist in Chicago.

    • JM

      Thanks for proving my point. As I stated, until the 1969 school year (in aftermath of MLK’s assassination), Princeton tried every which way to prevent accepting a fair number of black students–like you, deeming them un- oder underqualified and asserting the value of Princeton’s racial homoegeneity (Race, not class or wealth, was where they drew ther line, so so much for any chance at arguing on behalf of poor whites/Irish Catholics/Jews.) Anyone with enough sense to know statistics and regression modelling would know that one has to control for income/wealth, parental education, etc. to find the true disparities at the root of the problem; these prevailing disparities have then been used as a means to steadily deny people access to educational opportunities. You, like former Princeton administrators, are advocating denying access to education to historically barred minorities based on ostensibly harmless metrics. You are, in fact, advocating worsening the problem. Thanks for not contributing anything of value and ignoring the grave disparities and highlighting the small number of students who began integrating Princeton’s student body in the late sixties.

  • Pam Berkeley

    I just read your earlier comment, and assuming no edits were made, you did point out the possibility of the female/black possible swap back there, fairly enough, and I missed it.

  • Pam Berkeley

    More than 50% of the population was disallowed from attending a top tier Ivy League school until 1969, and we’re here quibbling about the minority aspect of this?

  • Pam Berkeley

    Read the box at the top of the chart. This is a chart demonstrating who Berkeley is underutilizing relative to the available job applicants. For example, if the available applicants were 30% female and 70% male, this means that Berkeley may be using 10% female and 90% male. The only conclusions one can reasonably derive from this data are that either

    a) women and minorities are unjustly being seen as less competent in the hiring process relative to their white male peers

    or

    b) women and minorities exist in the applicant pool (i.e. they have at least obtained Ph.D.s) and are yet somehow, collectively, still less qualified than their white male peers.

    If you think it’s b), examine why this came to be. Nearly everybody starts on a clean slate with their admission to graduate school (that is, nothing you did in undergrad really translates into a direct advantage once you enter graduate school), and nearly all faculty hires look pretty much exclusively at records that began in graduate school. And they’re only looking at those who complete graduate school, so the process quite thoroughly weeds out those who could be claimed to not be able to “hack” graduate school. So if these candidates have weaker portfolios, that weakness developed as a result of biased mentoring and opportunities in graduate school (remember – whether or not you think affirmative action exists to enter graduate school, there is no affirmative action for making it through graduate school – the standards remain rigorous and high). This would only then mean that you can push the under-hiring of women and minorities for faculty back to the under-cultivation of women and minorities in graduate school. That’s not very impressive, and the university that produces more Ph.D.s than any other school in the country should probably be doing something to fix this.

  • Pam Berkeley

    Well, the first African American female to graduate from Princeton was in 1972. That’s all kinds of shameful and recent, even if it’s not the first African American undergraduate overall.

    https://blogs.princeton.edu/mudd/2012/08/how-history-is-made-in-search-of-princetons-first-african-american-daughter/

  • Pam Berkeley

    Editing comments to change their message after you post them is passive aggressive. Not providing factual evidence of any lack of bias or the existence of true meritocracy in academia (or in industry) creates a situation where you’re just stating your opinion. And if your unbacked opinion is that women and minorities are not as qualified as males and whites, that makes you a bigot.

  • Pam Berkeley

    Dan, you say the person *might* be hired. In my experience, they typically are not ultimately hired. Even if they’re as or more qualified. It’s a chimera of a problem you present – underqualified minority hires undermining the quality of academia.

    I have participated in faculty hiring processes as well. I have also served on committees that review academic departments. I have also gone to graduate school, and am intimately familiar with the implicit bias that people have against women and minorities and the unfortunate decision making that results. Let’s say you’re going to hire or promote a faculty member based at least in part on their teaching effectiveness. What do they look at for this, evidence of the long term retention of past students on the topic the person taught? No; they look at the student evaluations of teaching. There is plenty of evidence that overall, students are bad at assessing teaching effectiveness. And even more damaging, students heavily penalize female faculty, regardless of quality of teaching. Publications are still plagued by gender bias, faculty support of graduate students (who then go on to apply to these faculty positions) is determined by gender and ethnicity. There is solid research on all this, and when you assess somebody to be “not as qualified”, how do you know that it has anything to do with their ability to perform and their knowledge of the area, and that it has not been tainted by all the instances of inserted bias along the way?

  • Pam Berkeley

    Okay, so we don’t put quotas on airline pilots. Airline pilots also happen to be chosen off criteria that are very difficult to insert bias into, like hours of flight and scores on tests. This is not the case for most jobs in most fields.

    But importantly, why are there so many white male airline pilots? Is it very clear evidence of the fact that in their upbringing, minority and women want-to-be pilots are still limited in their opportunities relative to their white male counterparts? Or is there some other reason to explain this disparity? If it’s the former, what do you propose as the solution? Or do you think it’s totally fine to screw over a whole bunch of groups of people, just because they were born in the wrong body?

  • lspanker

    Look up stuff like this before you say it.

    How many self-identified Republicans or conservatives teach on the Cal Berkeley campus? I never said they didn’t exists, but they are certainly not the majority.

    • Pam Berkeley

      Before I answer your inane question, tell me – is being a conservative Republican an unchangeable thing that you’re born with, like race or gender?

      • lspanker

        Before I answer your inane question

        Not an inane question whatsoever, as it brings up a point. In all this clamoring for “diversity”, it’s clear among the Left that the only “diversity” they care about is race, gender, and possibly sexual orientation. However, diversity of thoughts is definitely NOT considered a priority or something of value among the self-proclaimed “progressives”. When it comes to ideas, lefties don’t want ANY form of diversity whatsoever. In fact, they want compliance and conformity to the Politically Correct thinking of the moment.

        • Pam Berkeley

          You avoid all my questions that would force you to confront the fact that you have no backing for your opinions.

          I will just take it you believe that being born a Republican makes life hard for you, and that we should make you a.constitutionally protected class as a result.

          • lspanker

            I will just take it you believe that being born a Republican makes life hard for you

            I have never been a Republican, much less was I born one. You’re clearly as wrong on that as everything else you have posted here.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Oh man, my crystal ball must have broken back there. That makes your point so much better about how political affiliation is genetic, and my point so much worse about how that’s not remotely the same thing as being discriminated against for unchangeable aspects of your person. (As if you have proven that there are no openly conservative professors at Berkeley).

          • lspanker

            Oh man, my crystal ball must have broken back there.

            Nah, you were merely making a fool of yourself, making the same type of bigoted, unfounded generalizations you accuse everyone ELSE of making here.

            (As if you have proven that there are no openly conservative professors at Berkeley).

            Have you named one yet? I never claimed there weren’t, I just mentioned that you won’t find much in the way of political or intellectual diversity among the Cal faculty in general, given that the average Berkeleyite has a seriously underdeveloped amygdala that does not allow them to handle experiences that challenge their own precious belief system.

          • Pam Berkeley

            That all sounds remarkably like you.

  • BW

    Diversity is a great thing; and one of the aspects of diversity I value so much is that it’s not a quota. Trying to meet a demographic quota is not what diversity is all about. I think that the amount of melanin in one’s skin is a whole lot less important in diversity than say quality of teaching or any other parameter that would enrich the university.

    • lspanker

      Diversity is a great thing; and one of the aspects of diversity I value so much is that it’s not a quota.

      That’s like saying affirmative action is a great thing because it’s not reverse racism…

    • So you would prefer a silent quota that everyone adopts a “me no see, me no hear, me no touch” approach to quotas that still discriminates on the basis of creed, skin, belief and ethnicity over a published quota system that publicly declares that certain people are superior on the basis of the color of their skin and whether they look like me or you.

  • Paul Anderson

    I am privileged to attend UCB this summer because few people~~of any background~~can do so. The instruction is very good, not perfect, poorly compensated, and impossible to find elsewhere in a public institutional setting.

    Fewer white males in critical positions would not hurt the university, rather it would look different, and the disciplines would develop differently, and more richly.

    Strengthening the community colleges around the UC campuses to give the UC system a little more competition vis the undergraduate programs would greatly transform California’s higher education for the better. There is a marked difference in facilities and student services, just two aspects, that is not justified by any reasoning other than keeping poor people away from knowledge and opportunity. The ‘kindertransport’ transfer system is apropo of the psychology of abandonment.

    It is very difficult to accept even the modest trappings that accompany attending a class in Dwinelle Hall, knowing that many of my former classmates from community colleges will have to struggle through poorly funded intro level classes and be weeded out or delayed indefinitely in their attempt to obtain an education, or have to preselect their four year major based on whether they can sit in a loud, foul smelling classroom on broken pneumatic furniture, have no supporting academic culture in their locale, and no chance of remaking their educational path once they enter a winner take all loan program or academic path that sees the establishment of content standards as a great equalizer while inequality everywhere else is, uh, your problem.

    The egalitarian tier of the three tier system is the very uneven community college. The state colleges and the universities are bundled products, lifestyles one may buy into, a divisive feature which further guarantees low paid professorships at the top level. Breaking the bundled degree system, or at least the bundled product entrance barriers by fortifying the cheap side makes more sense than arguing about who gets to wear the crown. Gap and crown…the three tier system.

    So, supporting the admin staff at UC, for example, is great, needs to be done~~IMHO, should be radically reshaped by requiring all staff to be attending class somewhere~~but resolving the instruction logjam~~including its prevention of diverse hiring~~requires narrowing the expectations, budget, and voice gap between the almost~no~barrier community colleges and the elevated status state colleges and UC. Stop uplifting us and come on down, not by volunteering your spare time, but by committing, by policy and law, your real time。

    • lspanker

      Fewer white males in critical positions would not hurt the university,
      rather it would look different, and the disciplines would develop
      differently, and more richly.

      Based on what logic? Please elaborate…

    • I’ve never bought the argument that diversity for diversity’s sake is
      somehow prestigious and adds value to a degree. Yes, I agree that there
      should be no discrimination in hiring, and that principle must be a two
      way street if we are to hope for egalitarianism. No discrimination
      against minorities and no discrimination against whites.

  • 1kenthomas

    Why would a black or latino/a professor, with plenty of opportunities elsewhere, want to teach at an institution with a far lower black and latino/a population than most universities– especially most of the top tier?
    How can UCB’s administrators be blind to the simple ECONOMIC fact that UC degrees are being devalued compared to NESCAC/HYPS/etc via reduced diversity due to the current racial limits, which are in effect, racial quotas?
    And surely the Legislature’s current racial system, as much as it is designed to be something else, interferes with market forces in the pricing of seats, and is unconstitutional on those grounds.

    • I’ve never bought the argument that diversity for diversity’s sake is somehow prestigious and adds value to a degree. Yes, I agree that there should be no discrimination in hiring, and that principle must be a two way street if we are to hope for egalitarianism. No discrimination against minorities and no discrimination against whites.

      • 1kenthomas

        The current scheme which forbids pricing for minorities to be set by market forces in comparison with other institutions, is both discriminatory and devalues the Cal experience. In this case, this can be evaluated on purely economic terms. People will pay less full fare for a Cal degree, because of its lack of diversity compared to comparable institutions.
        On this one– why not let the market decide?

        • The market does decide. That’s why tens of thousands of students choose apply to schools like Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Berkeley that are actual institutions of learning and research rather than schools like Howard that just exist because they are historically minority schools. If the market did decide that was valuable. Howard would be as competitive as any other Ivy league. But alas it is not.

          • 1kenthomas

            You obviously don’t understand much about the economics of higher education and why, for instance, the African-American percentage at HYPS and the NESCACs is roughly 15%. But thanks for playing.
            The Howard comparison? Thanks for reminding me you’re a racist. Howard is a niche player, it doesn’t really compete with NYPS, though it probably does a good job of slicing off 30-50 highly qualified minority applicants/year who would otherwise go to the top tier.
            Wait– I just dealt with you rationally. My bad. Racist.

          • lspanker

            The Howard comparison? Thanks for reminding me you’re a racist.

            Yep, that’s your fallback position… everyone who doesn’t agree with you is somehow a “racist”.

          • 1kenthomas

            Nope. He chose a traditionally black college for a reason, and the logic is transparent. We call that logic, racism. Try again, if you can manage to step into the land of reason.

          • lspanker

            Nope. You choose a traditionally black college for a reason

            Why don’t you re-read that post and try to figure out who you’re responding to again?

            And, I do stand by my comments. You throw out the R-word whenever you can’t win the argument.

          • 1kenthomas

            In this case, an anonymous *anker who uses *anker as their handle. No surprise.
            Your comments? Who cares! You couldn’t pass a sophomore logic course.

          • lspanker

            You couldn’t pass a sophomore logic course.

            I graduated from Cal 20+ years ago and managed to make a career of it in the engineering world. Given that you apparently never got for from Berkeley, apparently I have been far more successful than you.

          • Pam Berkeley

            No, I’d really like to see you pass a sophomore logic class. Remember: you only left there with a BS, it was 20 years ago, and 1kenthomas is kicking your butt, logically and otherwise. Among your observed logical fallacies, with only one example given for each, because it’s sufficient:

            strawman I don’t think you’ve yet quoted anybody on the “all white males are the only source of inequality in academia” thing.
            appeal to emotion Putting forth the idea that if we hire women and minorities who are hypothetically less qualified, the quality of education will plummet in academia, and then what will become of us all! The horror!
            the fallacy fallacy When you claimed that, because I called you a Republican and was wrong, all other components of all my other arguments must be wrong.
            ad hominem This is one of your personal favorites, I’ve noticed! For example, when you said I was too wrapped up in “self pity and victimization” “to comprehend how silly [I] sound sanctimoniously scolding others”, rather than actually countering my arguments.
            tu quoque Every time you call people a “bigot” without actually arguing why you aren’t a bigot, you do this.
            burden of proof Although you don’t seem to even realize you do this, you’re constantly making claims that you expect other people to just believe in without yourself having to provide the proof (e.g. that minorities are underrepresented because they’re actually less qualified).
            anecdotal Another favorite of yours! I (and others) tell you about historical and current scientific evidence of discrimination, and you respond with personal anecdotes about your experience as a male engineer in industry.

          • 1kenthomas

            Well. What an amusing comment, in a week that I’m flying about 20K miles. I was worried that I was beating up on a poor first-year or community member, but you’re more than fare game.

            You seem to have never gotten beyond rather ridiculous ad hominem insults as a form of (barely) argumentation; most of what you offer in other threads, are presuppositions that we’d get through in the first week or two of any course on these matters.

            I suppose there’s always at least one fool like you, in any unmoderated internet discussion, bringing up base arguments that are even more annoying than they are dumb and wrong (as well as evasive and ignorant of the basics).

            Equally, you jump to a rather quick if incorrect conclusion about my undergraduate institution, while rushing headlong towards a less-than-sophomoric insult.

            Indeed, you’d likely have been among the one or two I gave a non-passing grade in sophomore logic. Should I ever be given authority over the UCOP, you remind that I should raise the question of revoking degrees.

            It might be an interesting way to revalue them, for the people who actually learned what they should have, while at Cal.

      • Paul Anderson

        That’s right, Ceasar, readjusting privilege is still privilege, and even if you award the deserving folk, you still have a system plagued with artifice and inefficiency. You need to undercut Affirmative action 1.0 with Affirmative Action 10.0. Laney College needs a hundred foot clock tower and regular visits from the DoE (Energy, not Education) and a seeded student housing cooperative, etc., etc., etc. and at least as much classroom space as ballpark space. BTW, prestige is something we’re trying to get rid of.

        • Dan Spitzer

          I’ve taught both in four year colleges and CA community colleges. Relative to equivalent two year institutions in other states, CA community colleges facilities are remarkably good-better than at some four year colleges.

          And I’m sorry to say that the skills of many minority faculty I’ve seen interview for positions at universities like Cal are lacking relative to their white professorial brethren. There are many and complex reasons for this and surely this will change over time. But sadly right now this is the reality.

          So one can either opt for diversity for diversity’s sake and shortchange students of all ethnic backgrounds at schools such as UCB or pander to the lowest common denominator, diminishing the quality of these institutions in the process. Exemplary are the ethnic studies and area studies departments such as Near and Middle East Studies. These are taught largely by minority faculty and are not remotely up to the standards of instruction as practiced by most faculty in other departments.
          Want to waste the time and money expended by minority students at Cal? Then go out and opt for hiring the level of professorial diversity seen in those departments…

        • So you would have everyone sunk low together in the brown muds of ignorance and lack of knowledge rather than tolerate the notion that some people do achieve more than others, that certain institutions of higher education are worthier of merit, that individuals can rise above their peers by their words and deeds? And that this difference has nothing to do with race, creed, belief, ethnicity or heritage.

          This reminds me of a quote from Ayn Rand’s book “Anthem”

          “The word “We” is as lime poured over men, which
          sets and hardens to stone, and crushes all beneath it, and that which is
          white and that which is black are lost equally in the grey of it. It is
          the word by which the depraved steal the virtue of the good, by which
          the weak steal the might of the strong, by which the fools steal the
          wisdom of the sages.”

          • Pam Berkeley

            The data from this article shows that, relative to how many women and minorities are in the applicant pool, Berkeley doesn’t hire as many to be professors. Are you then saying that women and minorities, despite having gotten their Ph.D.s, and despite having passed through many more filters of excellence along the way (that’s what bias does – it weeds you out more aggressively than demographics not subject to bias), they’re collectively still less qualified for professorships?

          • The data doesnt control for competence, tenure, seniority, or publications. That’s omitted variable bias on your part.

          • Pam Berkeley

            So what are you claiming this data says, then? Are you saying that despite all the additional filters on women and minorities, the ones who make it through are still less competent? What is the mechanism for this lower competence? Or are you saying there aren’t additional filtering mechanisms on women and minorities over their white and male counterparts?

            On one hand, the claim is that women and minorities don’t face bias, underperform on account of mysterious but definitely personal and not social reasons, and then make it all the way through their Ph.D.s, while magically having merely scraped by all through the years, at which point a socially isolated and definitely not biased professoriate assesses their credentials and accurately determines that they just don’t have the same qualifications as their white male peers. On the other hand, there’s the claim that people have not instantaneously ended a long-standing and deeply -rooted cultural bias against women and minorities, a bias that continues through the selection of faculty members.

            Which of these claims is more convoluted?

      • Pam Berkeley

        Diversity is a misnomer that exposes the fact that serious cronyism goes on in academia. If academia were truly the meritocracy it purports to be, the disciplines would be balanced according to the population, all the way down.

        Unless you believe there are inherent intellectual differences between races or the sexes (which would make a person racist or sexist, respectively), only structural bias will produce our current unrepresentative numbers. I agree that diversity measures will not encourage more people to join directly, but as long as the symptoms of bias exist, bias is very likely to exist. And as long as bias exists, women and people of non-white races (let’s face it, most of them are not minorities) will be unjustly kept away from career paths of their choosing.

        • Dan Spitzer

          Uh, Pam, how many whites are teaching in ethnic studies departments at UCB? How many men are teaching in Womens Studies Departments?

          Talk about bias and cronyism…

          • Pam Berkeley

            Dan, would those departments realistically exist without the enduring imbalance in the representation of any demographic that wasn’t white and male in academia and most public spheres? Additionally, the article clearly shows that you have cherry picked examples. Only Information and Environmental Design have adequate representation. That means that sociology, the umbrella under which women’s and ethnic studies falls, *still* doesn’t have a balance of professors, *despite* the supposed female and minority cronyism you mention. That’s shameful, and not on “our” end.

          • lspanker

            Dan, would those departments realistically exist without the enduring
            imbalance in the representation of any demographic that wasn’t white and
            male in academia and most public spheres?

            Well, they certainly wouldn’t exist to the extent they do if admission to US schools was based strictly on academic merit. It’s a well-known fact that the plethora of racial/ethnic/gender grievance studies courses exists not only due to Political Correctness, but because many of the “diversity” admits these days simply lack either the mental horsepower or academic preparation to handle degree programs in more academically rigorous pursuits in math, science and technology. If you think that’s merely a bias on my part, why don’t you take a look on your favorite online jobs board and tell us how many open positions there are for Peace and Conflicts Studies vs. Electrical Engineering?

          • Pam Berkeley

            Citations, please. You say a lot of unsubstantiated things that just sound like you’re racist and sexist, so it may be better for you to back it up with data about how horribly minorities perform.

            Also, do you realize *how* biased all engineering departments are against women and minorities still? That’s a terrible terrible example. You’re making it seem like the bias doesn’t begin prior to admittance and continue past hiring. Again, you’ve got no evidence of the lack of bias. So if you can’t prove away the bias against people trying to enter engineering or succeed in it, how does it matter at all whether there are more jobs for engineers? Totally not valid logic.

          • lspanker

            Citations, please. You say a lot of unsubstantiated things that just sound like you’re racist and sexist

            Grow up, and stop pulling that game of accusing others of being racist or sexist. It’s a cheap dodge and an easy way of shutting down any ideas that don’t conform to your preconceived notions.

            Also, do you realize *how* biased all engineering departments are against women and minorities still? That’s a terrible terrible example.

            Oh, really? Do you speak from first-hand knowledge as an engineering student, faculty member, or professional in the work force? My experience at Cal (BsChE) tells me that the sciences and engineering related departments are the least biased, most open-minded group on the Cal Campus. Unlike Victim’s Studies where everything gets cast into a race/class/gender mentality, people in the engineering world care more about what you can do than they do about the color of your skin.

          • Pam Berkeley

            I am a female mechanical engineering doctorate from UC Berkeley; I have worked in the field, and I am starting as faculty in the fall semester. I also have many female and minority friends from my engineering education over the years, with experiences that eerily match mine. So yes, I do know a thing or two about this. Implicit bias is alive and well at UC Berkeley, and elsewhere.

            If you can’t provide evidence that women and minorities are actually as inferior as they’re treated to be, then I have no reason to believe you and your wild claims. This article clearly demonstrates a bias, and you’re coming to the comment section, providing unsubstantiated disagreement, and then telling me that I’m having trouble winning this argument.

          • lspanker

            I am a female mechanical engineering doctorate from UC Berkeley; I have
            worked in the field, and I am starting as a faculty in the fall
            semester. I also have many female and minority friends from my
            engineering education over the years, with experiences that eerily match
            mine. So yes, I do know a thing or two about this. Implicit is alive
            and well at UC Berkeley, and elsewhere.

            If Cal and academia are that bad, why don’t you do like most of and make a go of it in the private sector? I got news for you, however: whining isn’t going to get you very far with people who expect tangible performance on a regular basis.

            If you can’t provide evidence that women and minorities are actually as inferior as they’re treated to be

            I said NOTHING about women and minorities being “inferior”, so please don’t play those juvenile games with me. The reason that women and certain minorities are “under-represented” has nothing to with any sinister plot by any Old Boy network of white males, but has EVERYTHING to do with the simple fact than not all racial/ethnic groups have identical distributions in terms of attributes, environmental conditions or cultural factors. American-born blacks and hispanics have (unfortunately) lower rates of HS graduation. That’s going to be reflected in college admissions, degrees, faculty positions and the like. If you’re concerned enough that you wish to look at AND address root causes, such as how underrepresented minorities can do better in the K-12 pipeline that feeds the universities in this country, fine with me, but to assume that “racism” in academia is the reason is absolutely ludicrous.

            This article clearly demonstrates a bias, and you’re coming to the
            comment section, providing unsubstantiated disagreement, and then
            telling me that I’m having trouble winning this argument.

            When the only way you can engage in a discussion with those who disagree with you is by calling them racists or sexists right out of the gate, then you’re not winning the argument. You’re merely playing PC games which annoy the h-ll out of the rest of us.

          • Pam Berkeley

            You haven’t substantiated any of your claims, yet, that:

            “The reason that women and certain minorities are “under-represented” has nothing to with any sinister plot by any Old Boy network of white males, but has EVERYTHING to do with the simple fact than not all racial/ethnic groups have identical distributions in terms of attributes, environmental conditions or cultural factors.”

            Saying it over and over doesn’t make it true.

            On the other hand, there are many studies that demonstrate that bias exists against women and minorities, which is removed when they are assessed on their qualifications alone instead of their demographic categories.

          • lspanker

            Saying it over and over doesn’t make it true.

            Actually, it IS true. Black and hispanic HS students are less likely to graduate than white or Asian ones. In addition, they tend to be less interested in math or science-related subjects, so they aren’t as likely to pursue engineering-related fields in college. Net result = “under-represented”. That’s the reality of the situation, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not.

          • Pam Berkeley

            What you’re saying over and over again without providing proof for is that women and minorities are not being discriminated against even when they are fully qualified. Not due to “distributions in terms of attributes, environmental conditions or cultural factors”, but good old apples-to-apples discrimination.

          • Pam Berkeley

            And the private sector is no friendlier toward women and minorities.

          • JM

            I am appalled by his suggestion that you just leave academia because of the push-back/inertia one encounters in STEM fields. First he sized you up by assuming you weren’t STEM then he told you just to go to the private sector and to stop whining.

          • lspanker

            I am appalled by his suggestion that you just leave academia because of the push-back/inertia one encounters in STEM fields.

            You’re appalled that I suggest that somebody go elsewhere if he or she does not feel that they are getting a fair shake? That’s how it’s done in the real world. If you don’t like the way you are treated somewhere, you put on your big boy (or big girl) pants, get your resume updated, and look for better opportunities. Or did you not know that particular fact of life?

          • Pam Berkeley

            Yeah, I’m accustomed to talking to his type online. They invariably expose themselves as uncaring bigots – it always plays out in a very similar fashion.

          • lspanker

            And the private sector is no friendlier toward women and minorities.

            I know plenty of women and minorities working as engineers in the private sector who have no complaints or feelings they are being discriminated against. I suspect your animus against working for a for-profit corporation is that they expect results, not a bunch of whining and grandstanding.

          • Pam Berkeley

            And I know plenty of women in engineering who are being discriminated against. Is this an anecdote-off? The data is on my side. You’ve got nothing to support your view that women and minorities are doing swell in tech.

          • lspanker

            And I know plenty of women in engineering who are being discriminated against.

            Word up: you need to get away from academia and see how the real world works. I have worked all over the world – Japan, Mexico, Australia, the UK, Sweden, Germany, Israel – with women engineers and engineers of every racial group out there. At the end of the day, what matters to most employers is if you can do the job. Not saying it’s 100% perfect, but the idea that there’s some great conspiracy to keep women and minorities down when it comes to science and engineering is just a bunch of BS.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Your personal anecdotes and perceptions of how the world functions (as if all these countries you list have identical cultures to the US) do not equate to science or data.

          • lspanker

            Your personal anecdotes and perceptions of how the world functions

            Are based on actually BEING and LIVING in the real world. Unlike you, my experience at Cal didn’t cause me to become physically, economically, or psychologically trapped in that black hole known as Berkeley, where everyone is apparently condemned to be a helpless victim the rest of their lives (and to make things clear, I’m referring to the town/environment and its intellectual siege mentality, not necessarily the Cal campus).

          • Pam Berkeley

            Oh, do tell me all your experiences as Every Woman and Every Minority in the US, and how you experienced a true meritocracy in all cases.

          • lspanker

            Oh, do tell me all your experiences as Every Woman and Every Minority in the US,

            Tell me first about your experience as a working professional and engineer in the real world, as if your grad school program on some left-wing campus where the administration acts as your sanctioned wet nurse/nanny to protect you from mean thoughts and other boo-boos makes you more of an expert in the world of engineering that someone who has been doing it since the time you were in diapers. As Mark Twain once said: “It’s not what you DON’T know that can hurt you, but what you DO know that ain’t necessarily so.” Pardon my English, but it’s painfully apparent that you know a LOT of things that “ain’t necessarily so”…

          • Pam Berkeley

            I see. You’re immune from this quote because…?

          • lspanker

            I see. You’re immune from this quote because…?

            You have no problem making generalizations about every male and everyone in the private engineering sector, but feel the need to lecture ME about making a generalization I never made in the first place. Your reading comprehension skills are sorely lacking in a few areas, in particular in the understanding of fundamental concepts such as “some”, “all”, and “none”…

          • Pam Berkeley

            Oh, I made generalizations about all males (as opposed to males in the collective, the same as you have done for women and minorities throughout this discussion)? And about everybody in the private sector? I seem to recall just pointing out that discrimination existed, not that everybody was practicing it. But feel free to quote me heavily, in context, of course.

          • lspanker

            Oh, I made generalizations about all males (as opposed to males in the
            collective, the same as you have done for women and minorities
            throughout this discussion)?

            You treat people not as individuals, but as members of groups, then get offended when others do the same. Sorry you’re so wrapped up in your own self-pity and victimization that you can’t comprehend how silly you sound sanctimoniously scolding others for the same thing you do yourself.

          • Pam Berkeley

            You’re a real no-evidence type of debater, I see.

          • And no one in this thread has ever said that women make inferior engineers or are inferior in anyway. What you are arguing for is special privileges for women. In effect what you are saying is that fundamentally men and women ought to be judged differently and held to different standards in academia. That is completely against the notion of equality and egalitarianism that we are striving for in the first place.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Explain to me how double blind peer review is a special privilege, while getting a paper past non-double-blind peer review because you have a male name is *not* a special privilege? This is awfully confusing to me.

          • lspanker

            And no one in this thread has ever said that women make inferior
            engineers or are inferior in anyway. What you are arguing for is
            special privileges for women.

            Thank you for keeping the discussion on track, despite Pam’s attempts to twist our words to support her own agenda.

        • oh come on. You say that just because meritocracy doesnt turn out the way you want it to that the system is biased against you. If you want to compete fairly, then do so. Don’t cry foul when you lose.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Is it fair or a meritocracy when women are published at much-less-than-representative rates in peer reviewed journals that aren’t double blind, and then as soon as double blind policies are instituted, the numbers jump to being representative? Or how about when identical CVs are sent out to academics, half with a male name on top, and half with a woman’s name on top, and the women are rated as less competent? Clearly, in these very recent studies conducted *in academia* implicit, non-meritorious bias is rampant against women.

            But let me sit back and listen to how much you like getting things you don’t deserve as much as the next person, on account of your gender.

          • lspanker

            But let me sit back and listen to how much you like getting things you
            don’t deserve as much as the next person, on account of your gender.

            How do you figured he got stuff he didn’t deserve on account of his gender? Or are you going to make some convoluted excuse for your own apparent ignorance and bigotry on account that you’re some type of “victim”?

          • Pam Berkeley

            Let’s work out the logic here. If it has been repeatedly demonstrated scientifically that women are discriminated against merely on account of being female. That means that a whole bunch of men were given [fill in specific thing they competed against women for] they didn’t deserve, merely because they were male.

          • lspanker

            Let’s work out the logic here.

            There’s no “logic” there whatsoever. You deny individual primacy and agency, and assume that somehow people all behave as members of a group, as if that is the primary way you identify them. Yet, even though some groups have clearly exhibited different attributes or traits in critical areas necessary for success in a given field, you act all shocked, hurt and offended when someone points out that different OUTCOMES just MIGHT be the effect of different INPUTS. If that’s the best you can do intellectually, then it’s no wonder you’re not on the fast track in your chosen career field.

          • Pam Berkeley

            You have finally outed yourself as somebody who believes there’s a genetic difference at work, and not merely a cultural problem we have a social and moral obligation to fix. Thank you, I have nothing left to expose about your character.

          • lspanker

            You have finally outed yourself as somebody who believes there’s a genetic difference at wor

            Actually, I was referring primarily to CULTURAL differences, such as valuing education, interest in science, and the like. Funny, however, that the same lefties who claim we need to “change the culture” for them to achieve their own social and political goals, conveniently choose to ignore cultural affects when they don’t conform to their particular world view.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Funny, you can’t seem to provide any evidence of these things I’m supposed to admit to. Still.

          • lspanker

            Funny, you can’t seem to provide any evidence of these things I’m supposed to admit to.

            Affirmative Action/Diversity (and the games played to achieve it) are Exhibits A through Z here. The UC system works its lawyers overtime to find reasons to overturn Prop 209, because the groups that they discriminate (yes, discriminate) in favor of will be “underrepresented” unless they take factors such as skin color into consideration when considering both college admissions and faculty hiring.

          • Pam Berkeley

            So do you then believe that minorities are equally advantaged in the lead up to college, that they don’t deserve some sort of reversal of the wrongs that have been placed on them, systematically, over the years?

          • lspanker

            So do you then believe that minorities are equally advantaged in the lead up to college

            Absolutely not, but that doesn’t mean that those who “made the grade” (no pun intended) were responsible for that or secured some type of unfair advantage to where they need to be punished for it. Here’s your problem, and it’s a problem with most lefties: you’re more interested in punishing those who are successful as opposed to doing something to actually HELP others make it, because you have a zero-sum view of how the world works, and are more interested in flaunting your (mistakenly) assumed moral and intellectual superiority than doing something yourself. After all, it’s always safer and easier to point the finger at others and DEMAND that THEY do something than try it yourself, where you will have to accept responsibility and culpability if your approach doesn’t work.

          • Pam Berkeley

            So you aren’t Republican, and you aren’t “leftie”? Are you a Libertarian? Off the political spectrum entirely?

            How are you not punishing people who are discriminated against on account of race or gender when you do not reverse the bias against them? What did they ever do to deserve being held back? Why are you so dead set on not helping them?

        • lspanker

          Diversity is a misnomer that exposes the fact that serious cronyism goes on in academia.

          That “cronyism” is as much political as it is racial or ethic, if not more so. What chance of becoming a public professor at Cal Berkeley would one have if he or she were openly conservative or Republican?

        • cronyism…. you make it seem like all the white men in the world are secretly plotting against you and all the people of color out there in the world. And you call us ignorant….

          • Pam Berkeley

            Oh no, you are quite mistaken in your representation of the science on this topic. The data show that in many cases, women and minorities participate in this bias against women and minorities.

  • 1776

    I’d rather have the most qualified professors teach at my Alma mater, then someone who just got the job because of the color of their skin.

    • 1kenthomas

      Define “most qualified.”
      The #1 qualification for any tenure-track position is whether your hiring committee wants to run into you in the hallway for the next 40 years. C’mon. It isn’t like we have professor SATs or GREs. Quite the opposite. It’s political and corrupt, warring factions competing over scant resources.

      • Nunya Beeswax

        It depends on a host of factors which resist qualitative analysis. I’m broadly in favor of a more diverse faculty. I am not in favor of making hiring decisions on the basis of critical race theory, a discipline which teaches that all the institutions of Western culture are nothing but a vast apparatus constructed to support an ideology of white supremacy. That’s not an academic discipline; it’s a conspiracy theory.

        • 1kenthomas

          That’s not what critical race theory teaches. In the words of one of its scholars, it simply asserts that “race matters.”

          • Nunya Beeswax

            “…more than anything else.”

          • 1kenthomas

            That’s a substantive misrepresentation, prejudicial, and framing the matter in a false light. Overruled.

          • lspanker

            That’s a substantive misrepresentation, prejudicial, and framing the matter in a false light.

            Sorta like claiming that all of us of lighter pigmentation got ahead in life due to “white privilege”, right?

          • well said lspanker

          • 1kenthomas

            No, that’s historical fact. But who said “all?” Just *ankers like you.

          • lspanker

            That’s not what critical race theory teaches. In the words of one of its scholars, it simply asserts that “race matters.”

            Which becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy when the professional grievance mongers keep their charges whipped up into hysteria about the big white racist bogeyman hiding behind every tree…

          • Yes, race matters so much to you folks such that you use it to put down minorities and people of color that actually come to America to work hard and succeed (cough.. Asian Americans… cough…)

          • JM

            Stop making Asians your selling point against AA. There so many diverse Asian ethnicities–from Korean to Loatian–and not ALL are this “hardworking/high-achieving” stereotype because the conditions under which they immigrated were vastly different (military dictatorship refugees not academic/economic immigrants). In fact, Cambodian, Laotian, Filipino, and Vietnamese are actually Affirmative Action-supported.

          • I’m making asians a contention in the affirmative discrimination argument because of my own minority heritage as an asian and as a person of color. This is an issue that impacts me personally and that I feel strongly about.

          • JM

            Again I ask, how? What opp have you been denied outright because you are Asian? I have never been denied anything. I have just been fancied as clever enough and rewarded accordingly. Maybe you should stop complaining and work harder. If you were really Asian your parents would have taught you that.

          • Perhaps you should read the LA times article titled “For Asian Americans, a changing landscape on college admissions ”

            Quote: “The term “bonus” to describe how many extra SAT points an applicant’s race is worth. She points to the first column.
            African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, Lee says.

            She points to the second column.

            “Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points.”

            The last column draws gasps.

            Asian Americans, Lee says, are penalized by 50 points — in other words, they had to do that much better to win admission.”

            And you wonder why minorities hurt by affirmative discrimination think that this is an issue important to them

          • JM

            I read that. I worked in admissions at my Ivy League school and sat on panels to promote diversity (the MAIN form of affirmative action: women in STEM). Because I know the reasoning behind the exceprt you just posted, it does not upset me. Certain groups were denied education opportunities along the value chain (i.e. from primary school to high scool) for a very long time, sir. Without a historically educated familial base and little in the way of resources, it can be tougher to compete with Exeter and Andover kids whose parents poor hundreds of thousands into them. Back to Asian issue: most Asians applying to those schools are not just upper clas Asians in the US (whose parents were academic immigrants and v. wealthy btw) but also wealthy Korean, Japanese and Chinese (some state-funded) students who have tons of resources poured into them. Why don’t you learn WHY things are this why instead of shouting “injustice!” right away.

          • 1kenthomas

            Sorry, they’re over-represented in the market. Get over it. There’s too much of your product, the price goes down. That’s all. Stop thinking of admission as something someone “deserves” and think of it as what it is, a pricing negotiation on a market, where your product features are or aren’t desirable.

          • lspanker

            Sorry, they’re over-represented in the market. Get over it.

            Too many of those scheming yellow people, huh?

            You would have been at home during those anti-Chinese riots in California in the 1800s…

          • JM

            I find it curious that my very reasoned response to this disappeared.

          • 1kenthomas

            You mean the “model minority” that’s scared of being put in concentration camps again?

          • lspanker

            You mean the “model minority” that’s scared of being put in concentration camps again?

            More hyperbole from the clown who can’t win an argument by dealing in reality.

          • Pam Berkeley

            You comment on yourself so much here.

          • you care to explain what that comment means? Are you suggesting that asians are less meritorious of minority and person of color status?

      • you make it seem like “qualified” is such a bizarre and nebulous term.

        Have you heard of using perhaps the quality of scientific publications, caliber of research, or previous instructional track record as a method for hiring research faculty?

        oh wait you would prefer to use job recruiting voodoo where you hire minorities solely on the basis of the color of their skin rather than merit. People like you would argue that academic recruitment is some kind of nebulous black box
        where white men scheme on how to keep minorities out of academic
        institutions. What happened to meritocracy and egalitarianism 1kenthomas?

        • 1kenthomas

          No, I’m saying that your quantatative fetish is in fact voodoo and ignores what’s really going on– often, the preference of straight white men to be surrounded by straight while men or those who pass.

          What’s better (thus more qualified), this paper or that paper? Two papers instead of one? Or a paper that’s well cited (by one’s friends and social network, of course!). The standards you propose are bunk.

          • lspanker

            No, I’m saying that your quantatative fetish is in fact voodoo

            Based on what, some unsubstantiated assertion from you?

          • Pam Berkeley

            You’re not the person who stands on any ground when you claim that others are providing unsubstantiated assumptions. Indeed, in this discussion, you have been the reigning champion of unsubstantiated assumptions and claims. Same for your other discussions on Disqus. It’s apparently your thing.

          • Quantitative fetish? you would hire people solely based on the color of their skin. How is that better?

          • 1kenthomas

            You fail to see or acknowledge a large, variegated, complex middle ground of decisions due to your prejudice. No one is hiring anyone based solely on the color of their skin.

          • Mark Talmont

            Except in Ethnic Studies.

          • 1kenthomas

            No. You’re throwing around extreme, prejudiced representations of a reality that is far different. Ethnic studies departments do not hire solely on the color of skin, no more than German Studies hires solely on German heritage. They hire on scholarship and many soft factors.
            What you’re throwing around, is in the end bigotry.

          • lspanker

            No. You’re throwing around extreme, prejudiced representations of a reality

            Like thinking all the white male profs are ganging up on all the women and minorities?

          • Pam Berkeley

            Who said that?

            You will choose some combination of the below options

            a) not respond, thereby exposing your inadequacy at debat

            b) not quote anybody on this, thereby exposing your lack of reading comprehension and your trollhood

            c) cherry pick what you respond to, thereby exposing your cowardice and your trollhood

  • I’m pretty sure that we would want the most competent faculty regardless of where they come from, whatever their race, religion, or creed.

    Surely the author isn’t suggesting that we compromise the hiring standards to make the university fit his personal utopian vision? Surely that wouldn’t have an impact on the caliber, reputation, research and teaching quality of this great university would it?

    • Dan Spitzer

      Well put and good questions, Caesar. Unfortunately, for the majority on ASUC, the issue of diversity supersedes quality. Their demands are just another form of discrimination, tantamount to affirmative action which the people of the State of California have resoundingly rejected…

      • JM

        If you are opposed to affirmative action, you truly are a race baiter obsessed with the race of others. The whole point of affirmative action is to support minority groups who were officially and unofficially barred from opportunity because of their gender or melanin content. When the effects of those unenlightened policies no longer blight the ivory tower, where most academics are supremacist, white and male (and the small sprinkling of Asian lackies they hire due to their own inferiority complexes), the need for such a “catching up” or “equalizing opportunity” mechanism would be rendered unnecessary. If you are angry about the focus being on racial and sexual differences, perhaps shake your fist at history?? Blame American culture for creating the whole concept of “whiteness” or “white privilege”, which only exists in countries where supremacists felt compelled to emphasize their superiority over natives, mulattos and slaves. Patriarchy may exist here in Europe, but this concept of White versus “everything else” is a bizarre fiction cooked up in former colonies like the US. Consequently, the forebearers of those still in the majority benefitted from barring others–that includes those with British roots stretching back th 17th C or someone with Hungarian or Norwegian roots who first immigrated in 1898–those Hungarians and Norwegians were eventually “welcomed” into whiteness with all of its privileges of not having to endure vile, aggresive discrimination and being barred from public and private institutions. Xenophobia somehow seems to fade over time when European immigrants immigrate. Equality is what were are striving for; social justice is a whole other animal entirely and hopefully allows us to get there. Stop making it about race or discrimination against certain groups when it is not; it is about finally giving other groups the opportunities they have never had. If you want to point some sort of intelligence metric proving that “less qualified” minorities abound in academia, you are a supremacist. By whom were those metrics created, and what was their purpose? Moreove,r we all know income is heavily correlated to “intelligence”, which means those with more wealth usually are able to invest in improving their intellectual capacity.

        • Dan Spitzer

          JM writes, “If you are opposed to affirmative action, you truly are a race baiter obsessed with the race of others.” Well, since the voters of the State of CA have overwhelmingly voted vs affirmative action, JM must not just mean me but in our democracy, the vast majority of Californians. Now that’s a bigoted pronouncement by JM in and of itself.

          JM goes on with the absurd notion that most academics are “supremacists.” If that were the case, why would any self-respecting minority student wish to attend an institution dominated by “white supremacists?” Perhaps JM and his ilk would feel more at home at Grambling or Howard if he truly feels that way. Clearly most minority students don’t feel Cal is dominated by “white supremacists” or they wouldn’t apply to the university, would they?

          And then JM renders the fullest measure of bigotry by tarring Asians with the old Stalinist epithet “lackies.” That scumbag Louis Farrakhan used the very same term to tar Asians when the bigots of BSU invited him to speak on the Berkeley campus.

          What follows is a diatribe with all the usual buzzwords of victimization we are used to seeing spewed by the likes of BAMN and BSU. JM, your rant would be hilarious if you meant it in jest, which alas I suspect you didn’t…

          • JM

            Firstly, let me start off by saying that I am half-Asian. EAST Asian. And yes, I am progressive, know a ton about US American history and speak several languages. I grew up in the US and in Europe and know exactly why people like you defend the status quo. You benefit the most from it.

            With all due respect, settling Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity issues via the popular vote has always been contentious, especially since ensuring access and opportunity to certain groups will elicit a negative response from people opposed to social justice. If it does not benefit them it will not fly.

            Did I say most academics were supremacist? Don’t think I did. And why are you taking shots at Grambling and Howard University? Are you even aware of the reason WHY historically black colleges and universities were even founded? Colored people were barred from studying at most other institutions in the South and North (Quakers schools in the Ohio/Penn region were always welcoming, however). Those policies were antithetical to this colorblind meritocracy that people are pushing today, weren’t they? This belief that we should just have a colorblind meritocracy is admirable (and to some extent workable), so long as income/wealth and parental education level are taken into account. The trick is as clear as the sky is blue: those who support “egalitarian” and “colorblind” policies know full well that those who held and still hold most of the privileges in society would get ahead just fine. 1950s/60s Civil Rights leaders did not fight for a colorblind society but for opportunity and access for education, jobs, housing and healthcare.

            I have no idea why you spun off into a conversation about hatemonger Farrakhan (who represents black people just as much as David Duke represents white people) or victimization. I am speaking too much truth, I see. As an engineer I have seen people who identify as “white” openly admit their inferiority complex to me and other Asians. They fancy themselves less clever.

            On “victimization buzzwords” (whatever those are…): Are you saying that there were no victims of the perverse misogynistic, racist and genocidal policies of the past (Trail of Tears, slaughtering of Natives, slavery/Jim Crow/KKK lynchings, Japanese internment, Chinese barred from immigrating), still impacting the livelihoods/education/wealth/employment and lending opportunities/mobility of people to this day? If you fail to notice how the world around you came to be, you are living in an ahistorical fantasy. Read some Nietzsche.

            As individuals we are the masters of our own fate, but systematic barriers which have existed and still persist makes it more difficult for some people to right their ship as readily and quickly as others.

          • Yeah, I’ll take you at your word that you’re an asian, but you’ve seriously drunken the angry social justice warrior kool-aid this time around JM.

          • 1776

            Did I say most academics were supremacist?

            “When the effects of those unenlightened policies no longer blight the ivory tower, where most academics are supremacist…”

            Sounds like you did to me…

          • JM

            touché. hyperbole. Potential qualifier to attach on the end: “to some degree”.

        • so opposing affirmative action makes us race baiters? You somehow think that your position is so sacred that anyone who opposes you is somehow an irrational racist. You must be nuts.

          • JM

            No, I do not. Affirmative Action actually has done much more for “white” women than any other minority group, so for me (as well as the author of this article) it was not JUST about race but also about gender. I just think some people have failed to question the premises upon which their beliefs lie. If they are for a truly egalitarian society, they would be fully aware of how unevenly skewed opportunity has been historically and how this has impacted the make up/composition of academia in the US.

          • All the more reason for us not to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their skin color, creed, ethnicity, or heritage if we truly believe in an egalitarian society based on laws and morals where all men can compete equally on their merits.

          • JM

            Read what I have posted above, Ceasar. Affirmative Action is not discrimination, it is a fairness mechanism to account for generations upon generations of lost opportunity and actual LEGALLY PERMITTED discrimination against groups. Do you live in a vacuum? Are you unaware of the link between parental education and income and wealth and intellectual capactiy building? THAT is why certain groups have until now produced more academics; that is why white males are in the majority nationwide. Are you really this blind? If you see these policies as disempowering to you, you might be better in another country not committed to facing its ugly past of misogyny, genocide, slavery, internment, outright discrimination against women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, gays, etc. Go to Russia, maybe.

            Also, as a half-Asian (half-German) I could argue that whites are benefitting from Affirmative Action because they score lower and perform lower than us but are in the majority…which is curious, don’t you think? In my Ivy League school there were >50% whites and on average they performed less well, so I am wondering who really benefits from the status quo. Most enlightened Asians like me know Affirmative Action for URM or PoC who have been in American long before us is not our problem; “white” people thinking that they must be in the majority is the problem…

          • “Affirmative action is not discrimination”

            …………

            that’s like saying discriminating against white people and asians is not discrimination. under your framework one could argue for discrimination against christians, against people who choose not to undergo hormone therapy, against people who choose not to abort their unborn children, people who fly the american flag outside their homes all because they have been unwittingly part of some massive systematic conspiracy scheme in America to discriminate against others and deny you your precious rights so their rights are forfeit.

            I think you lack a great deal of common sense.

          • JM

            I have to ask: what is “Affirmative Action” to you? How is it actually practiced? Who does it benefit the most?

            And please, do not lump Asians in with whites. Whites are less qualfied when compared to Asians but are in the majority so call the shots. Let’s be frank about it.

          • You would make some special distinction between Asians and whites when affirmative discrimination violates the fundamental natural and civil rights of both groups. I fail to see your point.

          • JM

            I asked what it meant to you? Have you been denied opportunities due to AA?

          • Frankly yes. In admissions, I am viewed as inferior to and as a lesser applicant to another applicant with a different skin color. That is unequal and unfair.

          • JM

            It is unfortunate that you think this way. As I said, applicants are not judged based on SATs alone; that would be preposterous. Leadership, extracurriculars, social or political activism, music, sport, etc. as well as family education and income come into play. So, a wealthier Laitno candidate is less appealing than a working or middle class one who overcome financial and educational challenges (worked parttime, paid his/her way through school, etc.). It could also happen that the wealthier Latino has lighter or darker skin; in that case the first part of your statement above would be true. The second part not so much.

            Just to wax a little poetic before I head to work () AM here in Europe): if only the Enlightenment ideals of America had been held in such high esteem at the start we wouldn’t be where we are. Alas, we are. We are all human and make mistakes. The state sanctioned legal discrimination against groups for much of its history and part of undoing that is educating those groups to improve their lot. If you fail to see how egalitarian glosses over the fact that some groups have an unnatural, unfair advantage due to wealth, ethnicity, lack of aggressive, violent discrimination, then so be it.

            You are not going to change the system with hippie rhetoric that ignores the grave injustices of the past.

          • Pam Berkeley

            You’re not viewed as inferior, you’re viewed as privileged.

            Did being a (presumably) white male prevent you from being admitted to Berkeley? If so, why are you here? How can you know what’s going on at Cal with any authority for your comments to be useful? If not, you haven’t been penalized on account of your demographic; try again.

          • lspanker

            You’re not viewed as inferior, you’re viewed as privileged.

            Which is stupid. There are plenty of poor and low-income whites AND Asians in this country. Treating them as if they are somehow “privileged” because they came from a background that motivated them to do will in school is a gross injustice.

          • Pam Berkeley

            As JM already said 19 hours ago:

            “It is unfortunate that you think this way. As I said, applicants are not judged based on SATs alone; that would be preposterous. Leadership, extracurriculars, social or political activism, music, sport, etc. as well as family education and income come into play. So, ceteris paribus, a wealthier Laitno candidate is less appealing than a working or middle class one who overcome financial and educational challenges (worked parttime, paid his/her way through school, etc.). It could also happen that the wealthier Latino has lighter or darker skin; in that case the first part of your statement above would be true. The second part not so much.”

          • lspanker

            None of what you just posted refutes a single thing I said. I’m beginning to have my doubts as to whether you are who you claim to be, given your apparently limited reasoning AND reading comprehension skills.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Yes, a BS from Cal 20 years ago clearly gave you all the logic you need to avoid bringing up *any* research demonstrating that you’re not just pulling claims of true extant meritocracy out of thin air.

          • lspanker

            Yes, a BS from Cal 20 years ago clearly gave you all the logic you need

            Not at all – working with people all over the world, taking on real responsibilities, and proving my ability to bring home a regular paycheck over the years, gave me some insight and experience that you simply can’t be expected to have at this point in your life. That’s not meant as a personal insult, merely an observation.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Wow, you’re editing your comments severely after the first post. In any event, this article is on the topic of academia. You’re not terribly qualified to comment on it, then, by your own standards.

          • lspanker

            Wow, you’re editing your comments severely after the first post.

            I’m editing some comments because my internet connection lags, and I can occasionally “lysdexic” in my typing. I also have a bad habit of hitting the Enter key before I am ready. I would prefer to correct my mistakes instead of leaving them standing in print. It’s something you will learn to do if you ever become a real engineer.

            this article is on the topic of academia.

            A field in which you are apparently a very unhappy young woman. I merely suggested that you might try instead exploring a career in the private sector, and you apparently took that as some type of huge affront.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Shall I post the text that came to me in an email for comparison, so people can see how it’s all about dyslexia and accidentally hitting the enter key?

          • lspanker

            Shall I post the text that came to me in an email for comparison

            Do as you please. I’m sure nobody else cares one way or another. You’re obviously doing everything in your power to get the last word in. I will probably let you have it, as you are certainly most boring and annoying.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Oh, I know you were gunning for the last word. It must be tough for you to see it taken away like this.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Why should I have to leave the career path of my choice? Because people, such as yourself, have a difficult time confronting the scientifically proven fact that bias persists? No thanks, I’ll stay where I am, and continue trying to get the fact-challenged such as yourself to produce evidence that they are not, in fact, uncaring bigots.

          • JM

            You are too obtuse to understand what I, an experience admissions assistant, have been saying all along. income and parental education are also metric used, you nimrod. Where are all of these poor and low-income whites and Asians being overlooked. Find ONE article about one of them ( a non wealthy, spoiled kid) getting litigious. You cannot find one.

          • lspanker

            I think you lack a great deal of common sense.

            Unfortunately, that could be said out of many of the products of our public education these days, all the way from kindergarten to grad school.

          • lspanker

            Affirmative Action is not discrimination

            It IS discrimination, which has a specific meaning. You don’t get to change the definition of that word just because you approve of certain types of discrimination, but not others.

        • 1776

          So many buzzwords…

          To quote Professor Quirrell, “There is a troll in the dungeon.”

        • lspanker

          If you are opposed to affirmative action, you truly are a race baiter obsessed with the race of others.

          No, it means he supports a colorblind society where people are judged on their own individual merits, not group membership. Your attempt at twisting the meaning of other’s words is Orwellian and disgusting.

          • JM

            A race baiter is someone concerned with the race of others and always claiming people are pulling out a race card. A race baiter is a supremacist who thinks someone lived experience as another race is null and void. They believe, like you, that the merits of women and minorities are NOT and never will be equivalent and fight tooth and nail to disallow them access to opportunity. That is why diversity and recruiting initiatives exist–were you around in the 60s and 70s? My own alma mater would not allow black students until 1970 (they even allowed Catholics, Jews and poor white Irishmen’s sons), so you want to tell me that individual merits should NOW be promoted in an ostensibly colorblind society? How can society be colorlind when resources and opportunities have historically been unfairly skewed? How convenient–you think once certain groups gained access to opportunity equalizing access and making a committment to social justice became less important than building a truly egalitarian meritocracy. Our meritocracy has NEVER been egalitarian, sir, and until the patriarchy and supremacy in academia subsides, diversity is a key way to rout it out.

          • Its sad that insisting on something as simple as the principles of colorblindness, egalitarianism, and equality invites accusations of race baiting, racism, and prejudice when nothing could be further than the truth. I and others in this thread have argued for nothing less than completely fair, colorblind, and equal participation in our society for all members of our society regardless of whether or not they look like me or you. This equality and egalitarianism is something that you have rejected at face value.

          • JM

            I do not reject it. That should have been the goal upon founding the US, no? It wasn’t, so let’s try and get there. I hold an American passport but for all intents and purposes am not American, I am Singaporean-German, but was raised in New York, so yes, I am VERY aware of how American society functions. Crucify me. At my Ivy League university, btw, there were E. Asian professors of African American studies, so your belief that a social justice warrior is a white, lesbian feminist or a black nationalist is wrong. Be careful, your ignorance is showing.

          • lspanker

            I do not reject it. That should have been the goal upon founding the US, no? It wasn’t, so let’s try and get there.

            How about trying to get there by addressing the fundamentals, i.e. why the K-12 public education system in this country doesn’t produce more young black and hispanic students who can earn admission to the UC system on their own merits? Diversity programs based on skin color are not only racist, but merely throw a band-aid over the real problem.

          • JM

            You are clearly a troll. Unaware that THAT is what ALL minorities in America have been fighting or all along (including my own parents in New York City, who lived in a Co-Op with people who did not want their children going to school with black and latino children). You are seriously suggesting that no one has thought to improve the pipeline even in spite of all the local and municipal barriers (b/c education policy may be made federally but implementation and QA usually takes place on the state/municipal level)?

            Did the SCOTUS not rule in favor of Brown in Brown v. Board of Education (Kansas) in 1954, where schools for little colored children were severely underfunded, neglected and left without adequate teaching staff? Fast forward 25-30 years: were there not parents picketing and throwing rocks at school buses in Boston and Minneapolis when busing was introduced across the Northeast and Midwest to help improve that pipeline? Were “goolie” Chinese not banned from attending schools in California because of non-native laws? Were there no US marshals onhand in 1957 in Little Rock’s Central High? Did Southern States’ State Agencies NOT enforce schooling on colored children who were the offspring of sharecroppers who had to pick cotton for a living? Was there not defacto segregation in high schools across the country, leaving districts with fewer resources. Where are all the minority teachers who need to be educating minority children, you ask (as a race baiter and bigot)? The question is, why must that be the scenario? More critically, how are minority teaching corps across America supposed to increase with all the barriers placed against them? How does denigrating people for this recent history make you a better human? Parents who just wanted to give their children a chance were and still are maligned and disgraced because of pure bigotry. Some of these examples are less than 30 years old, so you tell me how working and middle class parents can better prepare their children for the brave, new world you foresee.

          • lspanker

            Did the SCOTUS not rule in favor of Brown in Brown v. Board of Education
            (Kansas) in 1954, where schools for little colored children were
            severely underfunded, neglected and left without adequate teaching
            staff?

            1954 was a long time ago. You conveniently overlook the hundreds of billions that have been poured into public education since then, much of it apparently without tangible results.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Schools are more segregated and no better today than they were during the times JM mentioned. You either aren’t to current with your history, or you desperately want to not deal with facts, because that might actually put a huge hole in your opinion.

          • lspanker

            Its sad that insisting on something as simple as the principles of
            colorblindness, egalitarianism, and equality invites accusations of race
            baiting, racism, and prejudice when nothing could be further than the
            truth.

            It’s the only tactic they have ever learned: discredit your opponent when you can’t win based on facts or logic.

          • Pam Berkeley

            You’ve shared so many facts with us here to discredit us with. Oh wait, no you didn’t; this is your tactic you’re bringing up.

          • Pam Berkeley

            What about the research that women and minorities are discriminated against, and the merit-based structure you say you’re all for only surfaces when their femaleness or skin color is disguised? How do you expect these groups to avoid discrimination and bias in personal settings where they can’t disguise their gender or race?

            [Predicting that you’ll avoid touching on this topic yet again, and instead tell me more of your unsubstantiated opinions].

          • lspanker

            What about the research that women and minorities are discriminated against

            Too much of that “research” is conducted by people with an axe to grind who choose to overlook obvious factors that don’t advance their particular sociopolitical agenda. Case in point: certain Berkeley grad students who refuse to acknowledge that lower HS graduation rates, lower SAT scores, lower attendance in critical college prep courses (HS chemistry/physics/advanced algebra) among black and hispanic HS students just MIGHT be a factor as to why those same black and hispanic students are “under-represented” in career tracks that require graduating from HS with good grades, high SAT scores, and a solid understanding of the basics before they even set foot on a college campus. Just because it makes you squeamish or uncomfortable to acknowledge such factors does not make them any less significant.

          • Pam Berkeley

            So lspanker, which is it, are minorities still disadvantaged in their upbringing and therefore deserving of affirmative action, or are they coming from equal places to their white counterparts and not deserving of it? Pick one, this is getting tiresome.

          • lspanker

            So lspanker, which is it, are minorities still disadvantaged in their upbringing and therefore deserving of affirmative action

            Where do you equate “disadvantaged in their upbringing” with having an automatic right to affirmative action, given that some of those “disadvantages” are often self-inflicted?

          • Pam Berkeley

            Who self-inflicts disadvantage, and how?

          • lspanker

            A race baiter is someone concerned with the race of others

            You mean like people who are always counting how many people of different colors there are in a group so they can decide if there are the “right” number of minorities, correct?

          • exactly. for these people, the color of one’s skin takes primacy over any notion of merit

          • JM

            No, someone accusing minorities of being underqualified according to the metric they happen to agree with on that day…that is a TRUE race baiter (not what FAUX News propogates, or would you like to use their definition?). RBs are obsessed with their feelings of entitlement and superiority and continue (as they have for well over two centuries) push an agenda based on ostensibly benign quantiative metrics to bar certain groups from opportunity. The veil of artifice is thin with you race baiters.

          • lspanker

            No, someone accusing minorities of being underqualified according to the metric they happen to agree with on that day

            You act as if grades and SATs scores are some arbitrary and capricious method of determining college admissions, when in fact they are not. While I certainly agree that they should not be the sole deciding factors for college admission, neither should they be regarded as some sinister white supremacist plot to keep out the colored folk. You are making ludicrous assertions which make it quite clear that you’re not interested in an intelligent discussion, merely flaunting your PC credentials to feed your own narcissistic tendencies.

          • JM

            Stop with your antics. No one ever said grades were called into question. Standardized tests were. They were concocted at Princeton nearly a century ago and ETS has been trying to rid them of their implicit biases for only about a decade or so now. Want to know how I know? I worked with them at Princeton!

            My focus was on the College Board (an ETS offshoot) called the SAT. And as I have stated several times already, it is the financial firepower and larger numbers of (under/un)prepared students that goes into test prep that explains scoring discrepancies! As I stated, upper class E Asian and to a lesser exten S Asian parents (NB: NOT SE Asian) pay hefty sums to get their kids into top schools; they have the wherewithal to do so. Likewise, Chinese and S. Korean kingpins fund their children and have them apply to US schools, paying for rigorous test prep along the way. The US is NOT for sale to the highet bidder who can pump the most steroids into his show horse. We do not need to start talking about the upper class whites who have done this for generations (and if you want to start talking about poor whites from Appalachia or somewhere else, let me tell you, in high stakes admissions they are also looked at closely as family education and income are just as strong in many cases as race-based obstacles. Want to know why? Because race and income are so closely correlated in the US.) Expensive test prep is just not an option for many working and lower middle class students. If you want to help close the gap, start a free program for high-achieving lower middle class and working class students across America. Go on and help them improve their PSAT, ACT and SAT scores. DO Something instead of complaining about a problem you are not helping to solve.

          • David Smith

            You are essentially making an argument against race based affirmative action and for income based affirmative action which is the correct argument. One does not need to look to Appalachia to find poor whites; they’re everywhere. There are more lower middle and working class whites than there are non whites of every income level.

          • Pam Berkeley

            Are you completely unaware of all research on evaluation metrics and college admission? SAT scores and grades are terrible predictors of success in college. You seem to like anecdotes, so here’s one for you – I personally know a valedictorian and achiever of a perfect SAT score who went to a top notch engineering school and only barely didn’t fail out. Another student from the same school who was ranked lower than this valedictorian went to the same top notch engineering school and did quite well. (No, I’m not talking about myself in third person, I’m giving you a solid anecdote about two people I know).

            Of course, this anecdote is not science. But the science behind this, you know – the process where you look at actual numbers instead of just assuming you’re right about your opinions – shows that grades and SAT scores are actually not very good at predicting success in college. Tests in general are not very good at predicting success. None of this even touches on the implicit bias built into tests. With this knowledge, anybody who continues to maintain the sanctity of SAT scores is just a fan of faulty metrics and opinions over science.

          • David Smith

            “My own alma mater would not allow black students until 1970…”

            “At my Ivy League university, btw, there were E. Asian professors of
            African American studies, so your belief that a social justice warrior
            is a white, lesbian feminist or a black nationalist is wrong. Be
            careful, your ignorance is showing.”

            Perhaps you have confused women and black student admissions at Ivy League universities.

            African Americans first admitted….

            Brown: 1870s

            Columbia: not able to find exact date for Columbia College; Frank Thomas graduated in 1956, Black Student Union formed in 1964. Columbia College did not admit women until 1983, last of the Ivy Leagues to do so.

            Cornell: 1890, first African Americans graduate

            Dartmouth: 1828

            Harvard: 1847 first African American offered admission.

            Princeton: 1942

            Yale: 1874.

          • JM

            Anyone with an education worth his salt would have known that. Clearly you had to go back and do research as you omitted Princeton in your first post (which I searched for but could not find upon clicking on ‘reply’ in the HTML msg in my inbox. Nice trolling; how about you fact check before writing anything?

          • JM

            Your Princeton citation is wrong, so fix it. Paul Robeson was denied matriculation upon seeing his race when he arrived on campus. Stop trying to call me a liar. I have no reason to invent facts. Know your history.

      • JM

        If you are opposed to affirmative action, you truly are a race baiter obsessed with the race of others. The whole point of affirmative action is to support minority groups who were officially and unofficially barred from opportunity because of their gender or melanin content. When the effects of those unenlightened policies no longer blight the ivory tower, where most academics are supremacist, white and male (and the small sprinkling of Asian lackies they hire due to their own inferiority complexes), the need for such a “catching up” or “equalizing opportunity” mechanism would be rendered unnecessary. If you are angry about the focus being on racial and sexual differences, perhaps shake your fist at history?? Blame American culture for creating the whole concept of “whiteness” or “white privilege”, which only exists in countries where supremacists felt compelled to emphasize their superiority over natives, mulattos and slaves. Patriarchy may exist here in Europe, but this concept of White versus “everything else” is a bizarre fiction cooked up in former colonies like the US. Consequently, the forebearers of those still in the majority benefitted from barring others–that includes those with British roots stretching back th 17th C or someone with Hungarian or Norwegian roots who first immigrated in 1898–those Hungarians and Norwegians were eventually “welcomed” into whiteness with all of its privileges of not having to endure vile, aggresive discrimination and being barred from public and private institutions. Xenophobia somehow seems to fade over time when European immigrants immigrate. Equality is what were are striving for; social justice is a whole other animal entirely and hopefully allows us to get there. Stop making it about race or discrimination against certain groups when it is not; it is about finally giving other groups the opportunities they have never had. If you want to point some sort of intelligence metric proving that “less qualified” minorities abound in academia, you are a supremacist. By whom were those metrics created, and what was their purpose? Moreove,r we all know income is heavily correlated to “intelligence”, which means those with more wealth usually are able to invest in improving their intellectual capacity.

    • JM

      I doubt the issue is about the competency of academics applying for the few positions. The issue is people who think like you; you assume someone of a different gender or ethnicity is inherently less qualified to do the same job and receive the same opportunities/benefits/support. You just proved the whole point of this initiative by stating your biased view, even is spite of your own (minority?) background. It is possible to adopt supremicist thinking as an URM, even if in the end it harms you.

      • Nunya Beeswax

        I suppose that’s one possible reading of his comment, though probably not the most charitable one.

        • Pam Berkeley

          There is no charitable with lspanker. He’s a fact-avoidant troll.

      • I never said that people of color and minorities are somehow less qualified. What I said is that we should not compromise hiring standards to hire someone just because they look different than us. I’ve never bought the argument that diversity for diversity’s sake is somehow prestigious and adds value to a degree. Yes, I agree that there should be no discrimination in hiring, and that principle must be a two way street if we are to hope for egalitarianism. No discrimination against minorities and no discrimination against whites.

        you should actually read what people write before you go spouting off nonsense

        • lspanker

          I agree that there should be no discrimination in hiring, and that
          principle must be a two way street if we are to hope for egalitarianism.

          Word.

      • lspanker

        you assume someone of a different gender or ethnicity is inherently less
        qualified to do the same job and receive the same
        opportunities/benefits/support.

        Correction, YOU and your ilk make that assumption when you decide that minorities can’t make it without special rules to give them first shot at everything. Stop projecting your own condescending racial attitudes on others, it’s quite annoying.

        • JM

          Who are my ilk? The native tribes of Singapore? The Frankish or Celtic warriors who pillages Middle Europe? What are you ranting about?

    • KMola

      A more diverse faculty would not bring a compromise to hiring standards. If we assume that there are enough blacks, hispanics, women, and other minorities who are applying for positions, there will be poor candidates and outstanding candidates. There should be no reason not to hire a portion of them. For if we do not, then we are essentially saying that minorities are somehow less qualified for the job than white males.

      Imagine the situation where an employer has to choose between two equally qualified candidates, one of whom is black, for example, and the other who is white and male, then the employer should ask himself, “Is my work force diverse enough?” I say that if the answer is in the negative, then this should be a deciding factor on who gets the job. Of course, there’s the argument of fitting into the culture of the work environment, or maybe personality, but these methods of choosing are highly subjective and therefore contain implicit bias.

      It occurs to me that my initial assumption of there existing enough minorities who are just as qualified as non-minorities may not necessarily be granted. However, if this lack of excellent humans who are minorities is the case (which it must be as I can deduce from your comment) then I ask you this: why are there not more? I (and anyone else who believes in equality) will refuse to believe that the reason is in there evidently inherit incompetence. Believing that would be outrageous. Obviously, you agree with this. Tangent: I’d like to point out that I am not trying to say that you’re a supremacist or a “bad” person (whatever that means) or anything other of the sort.

      I believe part of the answer to the question is that minority youth often don’t see people who look like themselves in a wide enough variety of occupations. I lived in Vallejo, California while I was in high school. It is a dense filipino, black, hispanic, and white area. While in school one day my chemistry teacher was trying to deal with some troublesome characters in class. My teacher says to one of the troublemakers in front of the class, “Why do you act like a middle-schooler? Who are you trying to impress? You’re good at chemistry and I know you like it. You could be a chemist!” In response to this attempt at a motivational speech, he chuckles, “Look at me!” He points to the skin on his forearm and says quite emphatically, “I’M BLACK! I ain’t finna be no Scientist.” Uproarious laughter fills the class… It’s not funny.

      Keep hiring people however you see fit. But the bottom line is that there exists a disparity and that disparity is a catalyst towards inequality. You may not believe that these decisions effect the rest of society, but they inevitably do. With respect, I leave you with these thoughts.

      • Democrats
        are obsessed with race. Stop asking for the race of your applicants or your faculty.
        Why does that matter? Let’s see the most qualified applicants admitted.
        Oops.. That was a micro agression wasn’t it?