State to hit universities with $383K cultural competency mandate

That’s enough money to give 60 low-income students full-tuition scholarships for a year, by topping off their Pell grants. But instead our Legislature wants us to give it to administrators, to write “cultural competency” plans. HB 2864 is here:

Who could possibly be opposed to spending other people’s money to preserve the dignity of individuals, families, and communities?

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18 Responses to State to hit universities with $383K cultural competency mandate

  1. honest Uncle Bernie says:

    “Who could possibly be opposed to spending other people’s money to preserve the dignity of individuals, families, and communities?”

    It’s hard to know whether to regard this cultural competence mandate as simply the worst kind of pablum, or an Orwellian authoritarian thought and speech control program, or a money-wasting boondoggle, or all of these.

    It is also inherently self-contradictory. The dignity, say of the black lives matter community? Or the alt-right? Religious defenders of female genital mutilation? Or contemporary feminists? The dignity of Trump supporters on campus? Or those who regard said supporters as proto-fascists? Likewise with the antifa rioters. It goes on and on.

    It is to be hoped that the sane Democrats along with the Republicans will put a stop to this nonsense.

    Surely, with a $1.8 billion deficit, and lots of PERS pensions to honor, the Legislature can find a better way to spend “other people’s money,” even a paltry few hundred thousand. (Which would undoubtedly grow over the years, just as the UO diversity budget has grown into the millions.)

  2. Victoria says:

    Wow. All this time I thought I was a liberal; but now I have to say this is a perfect example of the “Nanny State”. I want state money to be spent on professors, on students, on actual research. Guess I’v been a conservative all this time and didnt even know it.

    • dog says:

      No, educating dogs is important. To us, all humans are
      the save, so we need to be educated to better discern
      the differences. That will make us bark, differently

  3. just different says:

    I can’t say that I am optimistic about this doing anything to get schools more clued in to the needs of a diverse community, but it wouldn’t have gotten any traction in the first place if there weren’t so much room for improvement.

  4. Anas clypeata says:

    $400,000? Or the schools could do a group purchase of an on-line training module, link it to the web site used for on-line Senate voting, and require all employees to walk through the module and take a quiz. Twenty minutes. Done and done, for a lot less than $400,000. This is how smart businesses do it. That’s all assuming that the schools just roll over and take it. I suppose they could fight it too, but that’s probably more expensive.

    • Inquiring Minds says:

      oh you mean, like the mandatory UO sexual harassment prevention online module that is so effective?

    • just different says:

      The problem with that approach is that corporate training modules are primarily designed to protect the corporation from liability in a lawsuit. Did you really think they were motivated by their concern for social justice?

      I have no idea whether any training of this sort can change anybody’s mind in any meaningful way. The free-speech contingent seems to think it’s possible. I’m not so sure.

  5. Salty says:

    This bill itself is not a very respectful response. I’m getting tired of the assumption that I need “cultural competency”. What metric do you measure said competency? What is our current score in that metric? If it is something that we are unable to articulate into a metric or score, then how are we ever going to know if this $400,000 was well spent?

    • just different says:

      The well-established Dunning-Kruger effect says that lacking a particular competency is very well-correlated with obliviousness to lacking said competency. More anecdotally, the people who favor diversity training initiatives invariably seem to coincide with the people who need it least. And the reverse is also true.

      And your “respectful response” remark is just another version of #notallwhitepeople. If you really were clued in, you wouldn’t feel defensive about this because you would recognize how much progress still needs to be made.

      • Oryx says:

        So there can never be enough cultural competency training, because everyone who says it’s ineffective is self-deluded. Got it.

        • PBF says:

          Two things. First, I’m going to tell you what I once told a room full of Deans in the MBA program during a meeting to discuss my experiences with discrimination in the program, “Stop telling me about your experiences with diversity. I don’t care. If everyone in the MBA program had as much experience with diversity as they say they do, we wouldn’t be having this meeting.”

          Second, I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, my experience with discussing racism on campus is that a lot of the White faculty and staff think that simply having a conversation about discrimination is the equivalent of actually taking action against discrimination. Worse still, half that conversation will be laying the foundation behind why something was racist in the first place. One Dean literally said she was shocked to learn I was still upset because we had talked about it in the past. If this helps to lessens the amount of conversation students of color have to have before they get help, great.

      • José says:

        Young people as a whole are almost entirely and inherently – not racist or sexist. It’s grandma and grandpa that need this kind of training, as anyone young enough to still have grandparents can relate to. Unfortunately, the University of Oregon is run by our grandparents. And the feminist grandmother is just as sexist and prejudice, as our blatantly obvious, obnoxious racist/sexist grandfather.

        • Fishwrapper says:

          That strikes me as blatant, blind ageism.

        • Dog says:

          I don’t know, this is not my experience at all. Most “old” people I know have evolved and many young people I know have pretty black and white opinions about nuanced matters.

          • José says:

            What is a “black and white opinion”? An opinion that, you personally, find unreasonable? My last post was exaggerated to make a point, but I think there is some truth to it.

            • AnonymousSquared says:

              A black and white opinion is an opinion based upon a false dichotomy. Note that the keyword here is “false”. E.g. ‘Democrat or Republican’, when in fact other parties exist and, if separated from the association of a “party” (See: generalization) altogether, public opinion on party specific falsely divided issues such as, government intervention (For or against?!) just might follow a more normal distribution.

              What is unreasonable is the lack of complex thought that commonly propagates within this campus. Why do issues have to come down to ‘us vs. them’ (Blue vs. Red; for or against; Trump or Hillary; Young vs. old)? Understand that there is a middle ground to practically anything that can be argued, and real world problems are far more complex than can be properly solved given only two options.

              Further, your comment above reduces complex human behavior down to: Young = fair; old = unjust. Do you not see how this false dilemma patterns exactly the type of bigoted thinking that ultimately causes the same effects you are arguing against?

  6. Dog says:

    @ A2

    nice post …

    indeed, complexity reduced to us or them is black and white

  7. José says:

    There definitely is a middle ground. That is why I dislike the far right nearly as much as the far left. The main reason the right gets a slight edge, is because they have the capacity to recognize humor, and they don’t feel the need to take themselves so seriously.

    Furthermore, a “black and white opinion” is subjective. What is “black and white” thinking to you, may not be to everyone else. One’s opinion is simply that. An opinion. Your opinion is no greater than mine, and vice versa.

    Speaking of “bigoted thinking” – Your labeling of others opinions is “bigoted thinking”, because you are assuming that the rest of the world agrees with your label – and shares your opinion.

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