Nick Kristof on “The Dangers of Echo Chambers on the UO Campus*”

Nicholas Kristof is the son of two PSU professors and grew up on a farm in Oregon. A few years ago we got him to come to campus and talk to our SAIL students. He is arguably the most liberal of the NY Times’s columnists, although it’s tough to top Krugman. Here’s his latest column:

After Donald Trump’s election, some universities echoed with primal howls. Faculty members canceled classes for weeping, terrified students who asked: How could this possibly be happening?

I share apprehensions about President-elect Trump, but I also fear the reaction was evidence of how insular universities have become. When students inhabit liberal bubbles, they’re not learning much about their own country. To be fully educated, students should encounter not only Plato, but also Republicans.

We liberals are adept at pointing out the hypocrisies of Trump, but we should also address our own hypocrisy in terrain we govern, such as most universities: Too often, we embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological. Repeated studies have found that about 10 percent of professors in the social sciences or the humanities are Republicans.

We champion tolerance, except for conservatives and evangelical Christians. We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us — so long as they think like us. …

UO’s first Diversity Plan, adopted by the Senate in 2006 after a long debate, explicitly noted the importance of those people who don’t think like us:

For purposes of this Diversity Plan, the term diversity is given a broad meaning and includes, but is not limited to, differences based on race, ethnicity, national origin or citizenship, gender, religious affiliation or background, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic class or status, political affiliation or belief, and ability or disability.

Here’s the data on political affiliation for the University of Oregon faculty in 2006:

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But the 2016 diversity evaluation posted on the VPEI website is all about race and ethnicity:

Over the last three years, the University of Oregon (UO) Office of the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion (VPEI) has worked diligently to institutionalize the process of collecting and analyzing data on the ethnic, racial, and gender diversity of our faculty, staff, and students. This report on racial, ethnic and gender diversity among faculty and academic leadership ranks is the product of collaborative work with the Office of Institutional Research, the Center for Assessment, Statistics and Evaluation (CASE), Affirmative Action, the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs.

And that is where UO has been spending its diversity money – currently about $5M a year, if you count the VPEI budget and the UMRP money which is now running about $1M a year.

screen-shot-2016-12-10-at-5-10-45-pm

President Schill has now called for UO’s colleges to develop new diversity plans within 90 days. I wonder where they will focus our efforts and our spending?

*OK, so it’s not just about the UO campus.

Are universities playing musical chairs with minority faculty?

Insidehighered has the report here:

Increased faculty diversity has long been a goal of many colleges and universities. But a number of institutions have recently put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, launching expensive initiatives aimed at making their faculties more representative of their respective student bodies and the U.S. population. And while these initiatives are comprehensive, targeting multiple potential points of entry into — and exit from — the faculty candidate pool, a good portion of the funds are reserved for recruiting underrepresented minorities already working in academe or new Ph.D.s.

These patterns have led some to wonder whether the net effect of these individual initiatives across academe will be zero — just a shifting of diverse candidates from institution to institution — instead of a real demographic change.

Are those concerns legitimate? And how can a net-zero outcome be avoided? Experts say the answers lie in trial and error, inclusivity efforts, earlier interventions with students, and — perhaps less obviously but no less crucially — collaboration.

One of the biggest such initiatives is under way at Brown University, which earlier this year said it was dedicating $100 million to diversity and inclusion, including $50 million for faculty diversity efforts. Richard Locke, provost, likened the potential pass-the-faculty problem to a costly game of “musical chairs.”

“That’s the biggest concern,” he said. “When we released our report and everyone else released their reports around the same time, I kind of froze and said, ‘Oh, God, if we’re all doing this, what’s going to happen?’ Our approach has to not be simply going out and poaching people from other universities, but building up the population — not just for us but for all universities.” …

Is UO spending its diversity money on poaching, or on filling the pipeline? There’s some data on UO faculty by race and gender, in comparison to the available pools of PhD’s, on page 34 here. The Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Plan is probably UO’s most expensive diversity program, and it’s all about existing PhD’s.

UO’s latest AA Plan shows UO faculty are about as diverse as the available PhDs

Longtime readers may remember that my public records obsession started back in 2006, after former UO General Counsel Melinda Grier and AAEO Penny Daugherty (still) tried to hide UO’s affirmative action plans, and the fact that Daugherty had failed to do them for several years. Grier stonewalled my PR requests for months, and then tried to charge me hundreds of dollars to see the ones they could find. Say what you will about Mike Gottfredson, but he refused to follow Frohnmayer in backdating Daugherty’s work. Here is the March 1 2016-17 Plan – which she finished with 22 minutes to spare.

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As has been true for years, UO’s faculty (but not academic leadership) are generally representative with respect to race and ethnicity, and a bit less so with respect to gender.

How can this be true, when you look around campus and see almost no minority faculty? It’s because the number of minorities, and for that matter all first generation low-SES people getting PhD’s, is unacceptably low. For faculty, UO is compared to the hiring pool of all minority or female PhD’s or recent PhDs in that field. Given this, UO’s efforts to increase minority hiring amount to robbing Peter to pay Paul – they do nothing to increase the supply. Increasing the supply, starting at HS, was the impetus for UO’s “fill the pipeline” SAIL program.

I’ve put table 3 below showing statistically significant under-representation. Table 2 in the pdf shows the details comparing percentages at UO to the hiring pool. Keep in mind that all these data are based on self-reports to Daugherty’s AAEO. Given UO’s UMRP there is a $90,000 incentive for faculty to say that they are members of a federally protected minority group so the AA Plan may over-estimate the true number of minority faculty at UO. (Strangely, UO’s UMRP pays the $90K for hiring a minority even if the department does not have minority under-representation, but it won’t pay for hiring a woman even if women are underrepresented.)

 

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Black student demands, SCOTUS case on racial preferences, football

libresco-datalab-students

This is from 538, here, citing TheDemands.org:

The most common demands, according to our analysis, have been for schools to increase the diversity of professors, offer sensitivity training to students and faculty members, and create or expand support for cultural centers on campus. The demands at more than a quarter of these schools (14) included a deadline by which school administrators needed to agree or respond, or else face escalations of protests.

Federal law limits the means the university can use to address the demands regarding increased diversity. For example, the SCOTUS will hear the Fischer v. University of Texas case on racial preferences in college admissions on Dec 9th, though the decision presumably won’t come until June.  The NYT has a lengthy discussion, here:

The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments on Dec. 9 in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case challenging affirmative action in university admissions. Emily Bazelon, a staff writer for the magazine, and Adam Liptak, The Times’s Supreme Court correspondent, have been exchanging emails about the possible outcomes of the case and what they might mean at a moment of debate over race in American higher education.

Adam,

It’s been a season of attention to racial inequality on American college campuses. Across the country, sometimes eloquently and sometimes not (these are 18-to-22-year-olds), minority students and their supporters have channeled the spirit of Black Lives Matter and demanded more. More black and Hispanic and Asian and Native American faculty members. More resources. A greater sense of belonging.

The Supreme Court may be poised to make them settle for less, in the most basic form: fewer seats in the future entering college and university classes.

The justices will hear arguments on Wednesday in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case that challenges the consideration that the University of Texas, Austin, gives to race in admission. This is the second time the court has heard the claims of Abigail Fisher, a white woman who didn’t get into U.T. Austin seven years ago. The university says Fisher wouldn’t have gotten in even if race had played no role in the decision, because her other qualifications were lacking. Nonetheless, the justices let her case proceed, and now they’ve brought it back for a second round. That is not a good sign for supporters of affirmative action. …

On the faculty hiring front, UO has a “Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Plan” that gives $90K to departments that hire a minority faculty. At one point minority faculty could and did use these funds for course buyouts and summer salary. However, after a DoE Office of Civil Rights investigation UO General Counsel Melinda Grier agreed to adopt new rules specifying that the funds go to the department not the hire, and requiring that any benefits paid from these funds not be based on race or ethnicity. So if your department hires a new minority professor the department gets $90K, which they can use to give summer salary for *all* new hires.

On the student front, UO used to offer minority-only sections of math classes. Those were shut down as part of a consent agreement with the OCR, after a non-minority student complained. (We’ve started offering these sections again, but entrance is apparently not restricted to minorities.)

Interestingly, while federal law is pretty strict about not giving benefits to people based on race, ethnicity, or gender, there is pretty much nothing that prevents giving preferences to low income students or first generation students.  Not that I’m a law professor.

Last, here’s a bit of history about the important role that black football players had in the integration of UO:

It was not without its difficulties though, as both Robinson and Williams were initially barred from living in campus dorms, having to find housing in off-campus apartments during their freshman year. Their white teammates signed a petition and submitted it to the school under protest demanding that their fellow players be allowed to live on campus in the dormitories alongside their peers. By their sophomore year the university relented, allowing Robinson and Williams to reside in Friendly Hall, albeit separated from others and permitted to enter the building only through their own designated entrance. On road trips too they were segregated from the rest of the team, not permitted to stay in the team hotel, though Williams later confirmed that despite the separate living quarters both managed to mingle with their fellow students and teammates just fine. Often on road trips after check-in at a hotel their white teammates would sneak them into the hotel anyway to stay with the rest of their fellow Webfoots.

Read it all, here:

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Not enough Black PhD students

11/30/2015: The data is from a discussion on InsideHigherEd, here:

… How realistic are these goals? Penn proves informative. Even with its prestige and an arsenal of cash, progress has been steady but relatively slow — at least compared to the Mizzou timeline. Between 2011 and 2013, the percentage of new hires who were underrepresented minorities grew from 9 to 14 percent. But the total percentage of underrepresented minorities on the faculty jumped just 1 percent, to 7 percent, from 2010-13. Minority professors over all increased from 13 percent in 2013 to 16 percent in 2014.

Part of the problem is that black students are underrepresented in a majority of Ph.D. programs and among Ph.D. holders. While black people make up 14 percent of the U.S. population, they’ve earned roughly 6 percent of the research doctorates awarded to U.S. citizens and permanent residents each year since 2003, according to the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies’ Survey of Earned Doctorates. While blacks hold a relatively high proportion of education doctorates, earning about 13 percent of such degrees awarded in 2013, they’re underrepresented in other fields. According to 2013 data, the most recent available, they earned 6 percent of life sciences doctorates, 3 percent of physical sciences doctorates and 5 percent of engineering doctorates. In the social sciences, blacks earned 7 percent of doctorates. It was 5 percent in history and about 4 percent in the humanities. In business, it was 9 percent.

According to the survey, 2,167 black citizens or residents earned research doctorates in 2013. Compare that number to 130 — that’s how many full-time black faculty members Kevin Eagan, interim managing director at the Higher Education Research Center at the University of California at Los Angeles, says Mizzou alone would need to hire in the next two years to meet the 10 percent demand.

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11/29/2015: Pushback begins against Black student demands & tactics

The NYT, here, on Amherst, Claremont-McKenna, Yale, etc:

… In the heat of the moment, the students drafted a list of demands for the administration. … They wanted students who had posted “Free Speech” and “All Lives Matter” posters to go through “extensive training for racial and cultural competency” and possibly discipline. They wanted the administration to apologize for “our institutional legacy of white supremacy,” among many other forms of discrimination, like “heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma and classism.”

… But just as there has been pushback at other colleges, the demands at Amherst were met not only with sympathy but also with skepticism and criticism that the students were asking for too much and trying to stifle free speech and intellectual dissent. Alumni took to the college’s website by the hundreds to complain that this generation was trying to sanitize history and impose a repressive orthodoxy on a place that should be a free market of ideas.

“Why is Amherst, an institution supportive of political freedoms, ultimately becoming a college full of restrictions?” Matthew R. Pewarski, a member of the class of 2008, asked on a password-protected alumni forum.

… At Yale, more than 800 students, faculty, alumni and others signed a letter to the president, criticizing student demands like firing a house master who questioned the policing of Halloween costumes and creating a censure process for hate speech. The letter said these would reinforce “intellectual conformity.”

“The point of the letter was to show administrators that there is organized support for open expression at Yale,” said Zach Young, a junior and the president of the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale.

11/21/2015: UO Black Student Task Force releases list of demands for administration

Diane Dietz reports on Pres Schill’s campus conversation here, and Miles Trinidad has the story on the demands in the Daily Emerald, here:

… “Some of these requests will be easier to achieve than others, but I believe we can make good progress in the coming weeks and months on most, if not all, of those requests,” Schill said. …

Here is the complete list of demands:

  1. Change the names of all of the KKK-related buildings on campus.
  2. Create an African-American Opportunities program that is comparable, in scope and impact, to the Opportunities program for the Latino student population and community.
  3. Commit to creating a Funding Resource and Scholarship initiative that is designed exclusively to support and meet the unique needs of students that identify as Black/African American.
  4. Commit to having Ethnic Studies 101 as a graduation requirement.
  5. Commit to creating an Academic Residential Community (ARC) that will feature African-American history/Oregon Black Diaspora.
  6. Commit to hiring an African-American advisor/retention specialist as well as Black faculty across all academic disciplines, especially major UO departments such as Architecture, Business, Education, Math, and Science departments.
  7. Create a substantial endowment fund and support system to fund and open a Black Cultural Center.
  8. Commit to creating a Black Student Leadership Task Force.
  9. Commit to conducting seminars and workshops by bringing in a black faculty from a peer institution who specializes in Black history and contemporary black issues.
  10. Commit to creating a Student Advisory Board for The Office of Equity & Inclusion and Center for Multicultural Academic Excellence (CMAE).
  11. A commitment to immediate change of Fraternity & Sorority Life Baseline Standards for University recognition.
  12. Commit to immediately keeping and publishing data on efforts to increase Black student acceptance, retention, and safety.

Hiring? Don’t forget the $90,000 minority faculty UMRP scam

Update: With the faculty hiring season well under way, I thought I’d repost this classic.

7/4/2013 AA Plan update: For the first time in living memory, Penny Daugherty’s Affirmative Action Office has managed to complete the federally required annual update to UO’s AA Plan on schedule. Last time she and Randy Geller got President Gottfredson to backdate it just as Frohnmayer regularly did, making it look like UO was in compliance when it wasn’t. The updates are here, the “Executive Order” report deals with race and gender.

Take a look at Table 3 on page 41. Using the federally specified methodology and the latest NCES data, UO’s tenure track faculty is representative of the available pool of Phd’s with respect to race/ethnicity in every single job group. For women, there is under-representation in Music, Education, CAS Humanities, and CAS Sciences:

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How can this be, when a quick glance around UO reveals so few minorities? It’s because the available pool of minority PhD’s is very small. Logically, you’d think we should focus our efforts on increasing the number of minorities who get PhD’s. (Which the recent SCOTUS decision leaves some scope for.)

Nope. Instead we’ve developed a “beggar thy other universities” Under-represented Minority Recruitment Plan, paying departments $90K for every existing racial or ethnic minority TTF PhD we are able to keep another university from hiring. UO spends about $1M a year on this. And to add to the absurdity, there’s nothing in the UMRP for hiring women, and it doesn’t apply to NTTFs. And don’t get me started on SES, political, or religious diversity. UO wants faculty who look different, not faculty who think different.

When it comes to UO’s central administration , they mostly care about hiring their cronies for “special assistant” jobs without open affirmative-action compliant searches. Former Journalism Dean Tim Gleason is the latest case.

Back in 2006 I filed a complaint with the DOE’s Office of Civil Rights about the UMRP, which at the time was giving the money directly to the minority faculty, who often took it as summer salary. Unequal pay for equal work. It took a lot of public records requests, a bar ethics complaint against Melinda Grier, and a long talk with Associate AG David Leith at the Oregon DOJ, but eventually UO changed the plan to give the money to departments, and require them to ensure the funding was not distributed solely on the basis of race.

So while the UMRP may now be mostly legal (though see below for some of the stunts Russ Tomlin pulled) it’s still stupid, and there’s no sign that new VPAA Doug Blandy is going to try and fix it.
Continue reading

Breakfast for Diversity Champions

10/29/2013:

The UO Breakfast for Diversity Champions on October 31, 2013, will feature UO President Michael Gottfredson and Expert-in-Residence Dr. A.T. Miller, Associate Vice Provost, Cornell University. President Gottfredson will charge the university community in preparation for the next strategic planning process, …

In the past UO has spent its diversity money on things like the double dipping salary for former Director Charles Martinez (Education) and the Under-represented Minority Recruitment Plan, which gives $90K to departments if their hires pass a probably illegal racial and ethnic diversity test set up by Russ Tomlin. New OEI VP Yvette Alex-Assensoh seems to have a more thoughtful data driven approach – helping to fund SAIL, for example.

Scott Jaschik from Inside Higher Ed reports on the latest empirical evidence supporting “fill the pipeline” programs that, like SAIL, target low income students:

A theme of several studies in the last year has been that there are plenty of academically talented low-income students who for some combination of reasons are not applying to competitive colleges to which they would probably be admitted.
A new study along those lines — this time documenting the impact of intense college counseling — was released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research. 

The study (abstract available here) found that a nonprofit group that focuses on college counseling in Minneapolis-St. Paul had a significant impact in increasing the rate at which low-income students enrolled in four-year colleges, including competitive institutions. …

Faculty Research Awards v. UMRP

10/8/2013: There was a bit of a kerfuffle over these last year – Espy tried to prevent people from using these for summer support, then backed down. The announcement for this year’s program is here. Can be used for summer stipends, but you’ve got to pay the OPE rate too. Up to 20 awards at up to $5,500 each. That works out to a total of $110,000, tops. A rather astonishingly small amount of money.

Last year our comparison was to the $200K or so we paid Provost Jim Bean for his sabbatical. Latest word on Bean is that he still isn’t teaching, but is on the LCB dole as the Associate Dean of Integrated Programs. Sounds important – so important that he’s not even mentioned on the LCB website.

So for this year, lets compare that $5,500 to the $90,000 per hire that UO’s Under-represented Minority Recruitment program is willing to give departments, if they hire a minority:

Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Program 

The Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Program (UMRP) encourages departments to hire underrepresented minority faculty in tenure-related faculty appointments by providing supplemental funds to the department through its school or college following the successful tenure-related appointment of a new colleague from an under-represented group. Funds, in the amount of up to $90,000 total will be provided to the school or college in support of the hiring department or program and its faculty. …

Easy money, and you’ve got up to a year to declare that you’re in a “protected class”:

Self identification as a member of one of the following federally defined underrepresented protected classes: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino. While a department may not presume of a candidate his or her possible membership in one of the federally defined classes, a newly hired faculty member who has not otherwise done so may self-declare his/her status at any time and, as a result, the department may prepare and submit a plan up to one year after initial appointment. …


10/16/2012: And see the comments for reactions to the RIGE office’s plans to celebrate their “Wall to  University Research”.

10/15/2012: I wonder if her office was going to explain this to the potential applicants for these grants? The email I got certainly didn’t make it clear – but then that would have involved admitting to a mistake. And UO administrators never make mistakes. But at least Espy fixed one. 

The new policy is here. It again allows summer pay, as had been done for many years prior (though apparently not last year). It also removes the phrase that prioritized GTF-included projects, and the bit about prioritizing proposals with matching funds, apparently added this year.

New:

Funds may be used as budgeted for allowable costs necessary to conduct the stated research project, consistent with all rules and policies, for travel, equipment, supplies, contractual services, core/shared user facility use, graduate or undergraduate student effort, or as a summer award (i.e., paid as a stipend in the summer term).  Funds may NOT be requested or used 1) to replace or fund faculty salary, 2) as stipend during the academic year, 3) for instructional release/course buyouts, or 4) for construction or facility renovation.

Old:

Funds may be used as budgeted for allowable costs necessary to conduct the stated research project, consistent with university and state rules, for travel, equipment, supplies, contractual services, core/shared user facility use, and graduate or undergraduate student effort.  Funds may NOT be requested 1) to replace or fund faculty salary or stipend, 2) for instructional release/course buyouts, or 3) for construction or facility renovation.

Note that the rules for research support are very different if you are an administrator. Interim Provost Jim Bean’s sabbatical contract promised him 9 months of regular pay and 3+ months of summer salary, at 60% of his $322,140 administrative pay. But my understanding is that he actually completed his research early, enabling him to collect the full rate plus beamer stipend over the summer.

UO "updates" Affirmative Action Plan

9/24/2012 update: 

From: Penny Daugherty Subject: RE: 2012-2013 AA planDate: September 24, 2012 12:46:33 PM PDT
Cc: Annie Bentz

The reference to October 31, 2010 data in footnote 8 is in error.  I will work with staff to make the necessary correction, and arrange for the copy posted on our webpage to be corrected.  Thanks for bringing this error to my attention.

Penny

9/19/2012 update: As a commenter points out, Randy Geller just got Mike Gottfredson to sign a backdated federal document. I’m no law professor, but I’m told that can be a pretty big deal.

Maybe Gottfredson did this knowingly, figuring it’s a harmless coverup. Or maybe Geller was less than complete in briefing Gottfredson on the long history of this backdating, the OFCCP agent’s statement that this was fraud, and UO’s promises to the OFCCP investigators to stop, and the news stories. He just sent it over for a signature, thinking that by the time Gottfredson figured it all out, he’d be in so deep he’d be part of the JH coverup instead of the cleanup. I guess will find out someday.

9/18/2012 update: On Friday UO posted its 2012-13 Affirmative Action Plan, some 11 weeks late. Frohnmayer used to backdate these plans – once by some 16 months – to make it appear that UO was in compliance with the federal requirement for annual updates. Gottfredson has now done the same. UO promised the OFCCP they would stop doing this several years ago. From an October 2008 ODE story by reporter Jessie Higgins:

She [Penny Daugherty] acknowledged that the phrase, “effective date” is misleading, and that future plans will use an alternate wording. “(This) will eliminate what I can only assume is genuine confusion,” Daugherty said. She added that although the University is required to create a new Affirmative Action Plan annually, there is not a specific date it must be completed. 

But a former official in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program said that is simply not true. 

“The plan is suppose to be updated annually; it is a 12-month plan,” said Harold Busch, the former OFCCP Director of Program Operations. “That means (the contractor) needs to have a new plan in effect at that date. You can choose the date … but you must be consistent.”

Effective July 1? Really?

From: Penny Daugherty Subject: RE: 2012-2013 AA planDate: August 13, 2012 5:23:52 PM PDT
To: [ ]
Cc: Annie Bentz
Hello [ ],

Preparation of the plan was a bit delayed.  However, it was submitted last week for administrative review and presidential approval.  I expect to have the updated 2012-13 Plan posted soon.

Penny

As usual, the job group with the most glaring minority under-representation is UO’s central administration. Hardly a shock, given their good-old-boy hiring strategy. And no one familiar with Penny Daugherty’s work will be surprised at a comparison of footnote 8 from this new plan with footnote 6 from last year’s plan. Yup, both plans are based on the same 2010 UO workforce data, now 2 years out of date. Or maybe that’s a typo. (That’s what an email I just got from Daugherty claims.) Or maybe the whole damn plan is a typo. Either way, I’m sure you’re as shocked as me to see that the competent legal review by Randy Geller’s office, which apparently held up approval of this Plan for 8 weeks or so, missed this little problem.

2012-2013 plan:

2011-2012 plan:


9/10/2012 update: Now 10 weeks late, and Randy’s not answering questions as to why. UO can’t bother to comply with basic federal affirmative action law, but our administrators have plenty of time to compile 5 year “Diversity Action Plans” and plenty of money for the UMRP and to hire consultants to train “diversity search advocates” to sit on faculty hiring committees.

8/20/2012. It’s now 7 weeks late, hardly the first time Penny Daugherty has failed to meet the federal OFCCP deadline for our Affirmative Action Plan. She tells me she’s submitted it, so presumably it’s now sitting on Randy Geller’s desk, waiting for some of that sweet “competent legal review”. Check that UMRP part extra carefully, Randy.

New VP for Equity and Inclusion Yvette Alex-Assensoh

3/4/2012: Best of luck to Ms Alex-Assensoh, who was hired by CAS Dean Scott Coltrane and VP Robin Holmes after an open, reasonably transparent national search, and who has excellent credentials (PhD, law degree, research) and relevant experience at IU. I didn’t go to the interviews but on paper I though she looked like the best candidate. Let’s call her the VP for Equity for short. From the new VPEI website:

Yvette Marie Alex-Assensoh, a political scientist and attorney who has served on the Indiana University faculty for the past 18 years and as dean for women’s affairs since 2008, has been named vice president for equity and inclusion at the University of Oregon. She will begin work at the UO in August.

The diversity position was originally created because former UO administrator Joe Wade sued Provost John Moseley for employment discrimination, and then insisted in the settlement that UO make some policy changes to encourage open searches, and transparent hiring processes. Good for Mr. Wade! Unfortunately UO is still a long way from doing the right thing when it comes to administrative hiring.

The office got off to a troubled start, then suffered through 5 years of mismanagement by Charles Martinez, who ironically was appointed by Frohnmayer and Moseley without any search at all, and then allowed to double-dip at an off campus job. Two years ago most of the relevant faculty and staff broke out in rebellion against Martinez, so Bean and Tomlin created a tenured position for Martinez in the Ed School, then President Lariviere dumped him as VP and sent him back to teaching.

Robin Holmes has already made some much needed changes in the office as interim head. Here’s hoping this office is now off on a good track and that the new VP will undertake a thorough review of  some of its more questionable programs, such as the UMRP, and move resources to fill-the-pipeline efforts that work and are legal, such as the OYSP. The fact that Ms Alex-Assensoh has a law degree seems like a good sign. Maybe she will even abandon the 5 year “diversity action plans” window-dressing effort.

Her application materials are here. This clip from her application letter looks very encouraging. “legally proper”, “best students”, and “just as likely to complete the program and find good jobs”:

Nice contrast to the inane “diversity *is* excellence” mantra that Martinez and Linda Brady used to spout.

must be African-American, Latino(a)/Chicano(a), Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander

1/12/2011: Any bets on how long before this discriminatory RFP from UO’s Center for the Study of Women in Society is retracted?

Date: January 12, 2011 7:20:20 PM PST
To:
Subject: codaclists: CSWS Laurel Award DL 1/18/2011
Reply-To: codaclists@lists.uoregon.edu

CSWS Laurel Award info for graduate students of color ….
Here is the website page – you can download the grant form from there. http://csws.uoregon.edu/?page_id=103 [1] (click on graduate student grants tab) or access it from this email, below.

CSWS LAUREL RESEARCH AWARD

Available to UO graduate students in the beginning stages of their degree work. The student must be nominated by his or her mentoring faculty member for this award which supports research on women and gender. The recipient will be awarded $2,250 and receive tuition remission for one term in cases where appropriate. An additional $250 can be awarded to a faculty member for expenses directly related to mentoring or collaborative research with the student. To qualify, applicants must be either a currently registered UO international graduate student or a currently registered UO graduate student from an ethnic minority community as defined by the UO Campus Diversity Plan
[e.g. African-American, Latino(a)/Chicano(a), Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident].
Download the PDF application form and directions. [2] Or download the MS Word application form and directions [3].

Links:
——
[1] http://csws.uoregon.edu/?page_id=103
[2] http://csws.uoregon.edu/wp-content/docs/grants/Laurel_2010.pdf
[3] http://csws.uoregon.edu/wp-content/docs/grants/Laurel_2010.doc@lists.uoregon.edu>

1/13/2011 Update: Not long. As of this morning – 12 hours after someone pointed out that racial tests are discriminatory and illegal, the text on their web page (click on graduate students) now reads:

CSWS Laurel Research Award

Available to UO graduate students in the beginning stages of their degree work. More specifics to follow.

I’m still waiting for a retraction and a new race neutral RFP. Their original is archived here. Past awardees are here.  And a visitor notes they haven’t changed the applications in the links yet.

Next up, the similarly discriminatory and illegal restrictions in UO’s $90,000 per hire “Under-represented Minority Recruitment Plan”:

The determination that a candidate falls within an under-represented group requires that two specific criteria be met:

  •  Self identification as a member of one of the following federally defined underrepresented protected classes: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino. While a department may not presume of a candidate his or her possible membership in one of the federally defined classes, a newly hired faculty member who has not otherwise done so may self-declare their status at any time and, as a result, the department may prepare and submit a plan up to one year after initial appointment.
  • Determination of under-representation status through examination of available data for tenure-related faculty within relevant units.  This determination will be completed by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President with support by the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Women outcompete men

9/14/2010: More women than men are now in PhD programs, and the current growth in PhD numbers is also mostly from women –  even in math, engineering, and physical sciences. From Scott Jaschik in Insidehighered.com:

Average Annual Change in Number of New Doctoral Degrees, by Gender, 1998-9 to 2008-9

Field Women Men
Social and behavioral sciences +3.2% +0.5%
Public administration and services +5.8% +0.3%
Physical and earth sciences +4.7% +0.2%
Math and computer science +7.0% +4.3%
Health sciences +14.0% +3.9%
Engineering +6.0% +3.3%
Education +1.4% +0.1%
Business +1.9% +0.3%
Biological and agricultural sciences +7.7% +1.2%
Arts and humanities +1.4% -0.2%

… Here are some of the other highlights of the new report on graduate enrollments:

  • The increasing share of women in graduate education is not present among international students, where they make up only 42 percent of students. The share of women is much larger among U.S. citizens, and reaches 71 percent for African American graduate students.
  • The representation of minority groups in American graduate schools continued a pattern of modest increases. In 2009, the percentage reached 29.1 percent, up from 28.3 percent the year before.
  • With U.S. enrollments increasing, the percentage of international students among first-time graduate enrollments fell in 2009 to 16.5 percent, from 18 percent the prior year.
  • Applications to U.S. graduate schools (for master’s and doctoral programs) increased 8.3 percent from 2008 to 2009.
  • The most popular fields in total number of applicants are business, engineering, and the social and behavioral sciences, but the largest percentage increase came in health sciences, up 14.6 percent.