Update: Bean’s diversitygram omits crucial facts

Congratulations to the Ad Hoc Beangram Team for disemboweling yet another message from Interim Provost Bean. I’m glad to see I’m not the only UO prof who enjoys our Interim Provost’s unique mix of pretension, condescension, dissimulation, and ignorant disrespect for data and analysis.

Updates: See bottom, from data located by a helpful commenter. The number of resident UO freshmen reporting as Black has dropped from 66 in 2008 to 49 in 2012. To help out Bean with the math I ran the percentage calculations with Matlab and Mathematica on my NSF funded 16 core Mac Pro, using 64gig of RAM and a 4 Terabyte RAID5 setup:

Black instate freshman enrollment as a percentage of total freshman enrollment has dropped from 1.2% in 2008 to 0.95% in 2012.

11/29/2012: Bean’s data apparently *do not* include non-US residents. A big part of the increase claimed below is clearly from the new multi-racial reporting possibility. This was a major reform, pressed by none other than President Obama. UO started using it for students in 2010, so most of the increase in Bean’s diversity numbers is not an increase at all, it’s a simple change in reporting definitions.

Bean has promised to provide FAFSA data to allow a look at changes in student SES diversity. I’ll post more when this is available.

Meanwhile, note the part of the Beangram that talks about changes in faculty hiring procedures. VP Kimberly Espy just got in major trouble for messing with science hiring decisions – word is that she’s now been told she can no longer even talk to prospective hires. Is Gottfredson going to take a lesson from that and involve the Senate in what is clearly an academic matter? We’ll see.

11/28/2012: Is UO padding its diversity numbers by counting the increasing number of international students as members of under-represented populations, or by not adjusting for the popular new multi-racial reporting category? Bean says he will provide info on the race/ethnicity breakdown soon, but he ignored the part of my question about what the numbers looked like broken down by US/Oregon residency. A great way to start off a “holistic approach” to increasing “gender, class and racial diversity” – release some meaningless window dressing data.

As for the part about increasing faculty diversity? It’s been representative of the available pool of PhD’s for years. You really don’t know anything about UO’s faculty, do you, Jim?

Johnson Hall, on the other hand – now there’s a race problem. From UO’s AA Plan:

Maybe someone should introduce a Senate motion calling for an open, Affirmative Action compliant search for a new Provost – because that sure as hell is not the way we got stuck with Bean. Anyway, here’s the latest, enjoy:

Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost
Message for November 28, 2012


I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday. Before everyone dives into their final exam and holiday rush, I want to take a moment to point out some very good news in terms of our commitment to expanding the diversity of our student population. 

This fall, we’ve had the most success we’ve ever seen in working toward a more diverse freshman class: 25.3 percent of freshmen are from traditionally under-represented populations. 

Since Fall 2010, we’ve been on an improved course. Here are the numbers for freshmen from traditionally under-represented populations over the past five years:
Fall 2008: 18.7%
Fall 2009: 17.6%
Fall 2010: 21.9%
Fall 2011: 23.2%
Fall 2012: 25.3%
I am pleased to note that we will continue to improve upon these numbers as we move forward with the next generation of our diversity action plan under the leadership of newly appointed Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, a professor of political science. 

While we are pleased with our improved numbers for freshmen, we recognize we must redouble our efforts to attract a more diverse faculty base. This will involve the commitment of existing faculty who help to create job descriptions and form search committees, as well as the collaboration of human resources personnel and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. 

But it’s not just about numbers. We must look at broadening our diversity throughout campus, among departments, schools and colleges. To do this, we will take a broad-based, holistic approach to creating gender, class and racial diversity within each classroom and office and creating the most welcoming environment Oregon has ever seen. 

I look forward to working with Yvette and our entire UO community as we make inroads into these diversification efforts. 

I look forward to your comments at provost@uoregon.edu 


Updates: A commenter sent us here and there’s 2008 data here for comparison. I’m not exactly a fan of the sordid business of slicing and dicing Americans by race, but since Bean raised the question, a quick glance shows that UO enrolled 66 resident non-Hispanic Black freshmen in 2008, decreasing to 49 in 2012.

If you want to slice more finely, it’s not clear how we treated hispanic ethnicity in 2012, and you gotta adjust for the new multiple race reporting too. Who knows what Bean did. Ask him – he looks forward to your comments! Or dig into the data yourself, OUS has it back to 2005, diced pretty finely: http://www.ous.edu/factreport/enroll/current-enrollment

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18 Responses to Update: Bean’s diversitygram omits crucial facts

  1. Anonymous says:

    I find the part about creating gender, class and racial diversity within each class and office while also creating a welcoming environment to be wholly unrelated to the reality many of us are experiencing. I can attest to an environment which is openly discriminatory and outright hostile in my particular office. Ask for help and you may well set yourself up for not very nice consequences. I would like to invite the Provost to sit in my office for a few days and see how reality looks. No, it’s not just about numbers. It’s about the values we choose to honor. Or not.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Th big jump is in 2010, when people were allowed to report as “multi-racial”. That’s not a diversity increase, it’s a change in the data definition. This is F work, Mr. Provost.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is the best part:

    “But it’s not just about numbers. We must look at broadening our diversity throughout campus, among departments, schools and colleges. To do this, we will take a broad-based, holistic approach to creating gender, class and racial diversity within each classroom and office and creating the most welcoming environment Oregon has ever seen. “

    First, after spending 5 paragraphs telling us about the numbers, he tells us it’s not about the numbers. Second, I think the paragraph above is in English, but I have no idea what it means. Just more administrative pablum.

  4. Wombat says:

    Thanks for the http://www.ous.edu/dept/ir/reports/er2012 link!

    Looking at “Enrollment by Ethnicity”, and the “Freshman” row, my sums are a bit different:

    — 628 *not* counting Asian or 2+ races students, out of 5131, which gives 12 %
    — Including Asians (only), 894, so 17%
    — Including 2+races (only), 989, so 19.8%
    — Including Asians and 2+races, 1255, so the magical 24.5 %
    (Caveat: I’m doing this quickly.)
    Qualms: Asians are not an “underrepresented minority.” Furthermore, I can’t see how “2 or more races” should necessarily count.

    All this is silly on so many levels, not only the attention being paid to race (as opposed to economic status, high school preparation, etc.), but the continued administrative innumeracy. I don’t really care one way or another about the provost, but to send an email without either the link to the data page or the descriptive calculations is simply ridiculous.

  5. Anonymous says:

    maybe a good place to start

    what is an underrepresented minority? I think some do not include asian and there may be other types of underrepresented other than race

    not including non resident aliens in the denominator we end up with about 22% without asian and 28% with the 20 unknown ethnic doesn’t matter and i would guess that two or more races could include white and asian

  6. Anonymous says:

    There is a potential switch to the new Census race categories somewhere in this time series. It has never been clear to me how the UO is treating this switch… I know they had no clue what they were doing at the time of the switch, and I haven’t heard/seen any evidence of how they saw their way through it. The switch was from allowing only one race category to allowing multiple, which makes the fastest growing ‘race’ category “multi-racial,” of course. What we would really like to be sure of is that Bean is not double counting “black AND hispanic” as one black and one hispanic. My guess is that he is not (although he is known to let the odd counting exercise get away from him), and is rightly treating such students as half black and half hispanic. That said, I suspect that he is recording “white AND hispanic” as fully hispanic.

    What say you on this, Jim?

  7. Anas clypeata says:

    Once again, he doesn’t show his work. Leaving aside the arguments about international students, we have seen in the past that he can’t calculate percentages, so why should we trust these numbers?

    Request the raw numbers and let us do the calculations. We’ll need breakdowns by state and country of residence, ethnic/racial self-identification (including those refusing to self-identify), and male/female splits (including those who refuse to choose one or the other). And socioeconomic status, and religion, and political affiliation, since UO Matters likes to count that stuff as diversity too.

  8. Oryx says:

    “Fall 2012: 25.3%” ?? I teach classes with a pretty wide cross-section of students, and I find it hard to believe that a quarter of freshmen are from under-represented populations.

    • Anonymous says:

      As in my large section.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ditto. They are so damn white I have to wear sunglasses. Not that there’s anything wrong with white, it’s just the glare that gets to me.

    • UO Matters says:

      Congratulations for submitting the comment of the month. Maybe the year. Contact me for your free UO Matters coffee cup.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wondered if “traditionally under-represented populations” included first-generation college students or some other non-race/ethnicity-based category. Which would be fine, but helpful to know in understanding the numbers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t waste your time looking for “truth” in these numbers. These are marketing messages pure and simple – truth not required.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dog says

    my suspicion is that the diversity rate is increasing due to recruitment of students from PRC and admitting them on a provisional basis.

  10. Anonymous says:

    In this classic Beangram, Jim is looking forward to our comments. Really? He should be careful what he wishes for.

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