Math Prof likens mandatory diversity statements to McCarthyist loyalty oaths

From InsideHigherEd, here:

December’s Notices of the American Mathematical Society contains a surprising column on Page 4, given that mathematicians have not been on the front lines of debates about diversity and campus speech.

The column, by Abigail Thompson, chair of math at the University of California, Davis, and one of the society’s vice presidents, says that today’s diversity statements are like the political litmus tests of the McCarthy era.

“In 1950 the Regents of the University of California required all UC faculty to sign a statement asserting that ‘I am not a member of, nor do I support any party or organization that believes in, advocates, or teaches the overthrow of the United States Government, by force or by any illegal or unconstitutional means, that I am not a member of the Communist Party,’” Thompson says. Those who refused to sign were fired. [Full disclosure: My Dad had to sign one of these – apparently helping liberate North Africa, Sicily, and France was not enough proof of his loyalty.]

Now, “Faculty at universities across the country are facing an echo of the loyalty oath, a mandatory ‘Diversity Statement’ for job applicants.” The “professed purpose” of these statements is to identify candidates “who have the skills and experience to advance institutional diversity and equity goals,” Thompson wrote. But “in reality it’s a political test, and it’s a political test with teeth.” ..

UO requires these statements for hiring and promotion. Originally they were bargained for by the faculty union, as a way for women and minorities to get credit for the high service burdens they face. The administration quickly picked up on them as a way to increase their control of faculty hiring and promotion. The most blatant example is from AVP Melanie Muenzer’s “search advocates” initiative, which puts mandatory “thought partners” on faculty hiring committees, which starts off as if it’s about ensuring efforts are made to get diverse candidate pools on the basis of race and gender – something easy to agree with – but then goes on in a way that can be read as if it is about making sure that new hires subscribe to particular beliefs, which of course reduces intellectual diversity:

  • Providing guidance and serving as a thought partner to the search committee during the review of candidates including the steps to select candidates for phone or online interviews, invitations for campus visits, and final selection
  • As needed, making recommendations to the provost on extensions or continuation of searches that may be struggling to recruit candidates or have challenges during the review and selection phases of the search

This concern about is strengthened by the fact that the new instructions for Provost Phillips’s Institutional Hiring Plan warn that departments that lack collegiality are unlikely to be given lines for new hires.

So if your department has a lot of plainspoken faculty who vocally disagree on intellectual matters no new hires for you until you zip it and sign that loyalty oath.

Debate demonstrates UO diversity

That would be UO student diversity of thought. Emerald reporter Mateo Sundberg has the report on yesterday’s debate in a packed PLC 180 classroom between the student Republicans and Democrats.

Before clicking on the link for the story here, please humor me and enter your guess in the comments as to whether the College Democrat debaters are the 4 on the left or the right of Sundberg’s photo, just because I’m wondering if everyone is as bad at predicting this as I am:

When talking about diversity, Provost Banavar often notes how boring it would be to live in a world where everyone thinks the same. So it’s good to hear that’s not the world our students live in at UO.

But what about us faculty? Back in 2006 I matched the Lane County voter registration file to a list of UO professors. Out of about 700 faculty, 506 could be matched by name in both files. Of those 506 there were 25 registered Republicans.

Here’s the distribution of Oregon and Lane County voters, compared to UO:

By college, it looked like this:

Today: CAS holds student town hall on “Diversity Action Plans”


I’m not going to live blog this – Bruce Blonigen will post the notes on the CAS diversity web page. There are a few undergrads, about 15 grad students (particularly women from the sciences) and about 5 people from the dean’s office. Andrew Marcus does a good job inviting suggestions, and he is getting many interesting ideas from the students. I stirred the pot a bit by noting that they should think big – the VPEI has millions of dollars for diversity, and it should be possible to reallocate it from her administrators to programs that would actually benefit students, e.g. scholarships for research experiences. For some reason the VPEI is not at this meeting to hear the students’ ideas, nor was she at the previous one with faculty.

Dear Faculty and Department Managers,

The CAS Dean’s Office is hosting the third and final DAP Town Hall next week for students on Oct 17th. Can you please pass on the information below to your class lists/student workers to get the word out? Please let us know if you have any questions or need further information. All students are welcome to attend, including graduate and undergraduate students.

Join a conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion in the College of Arts & Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is hosting a series of town hall meetings this term to discuss the college’s Diversity Action Plans (DAPs). The next meeting will be an opportunity specifically for students to provide input on the DAPs. (There are separate meetings for students, staff and faculty.) Please join us on Tuesday, October 17th, from 3:00-5:00 pm in the Knight Library Browsing Room. Snacks will be provided.

The town halls are an occasion for the CAS deans to discuss the plans with you, so we can respond to your questions and ideas and revise our plans with broad college participation. The more involvement we have in refining our plans, the stronger they will be, and we are eager to hear your ideas for setting diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities in CAS. Having visited, it is clear more can be done to provide a more diverse setting in all areas of daily life.

The action plans that we created are and will be living documents. We will continue to provide opportunities in the future for everyone to offer improvements, and faculty, staff, and students are welcome to communicate their thoughts and suggest ideas at any time to [email protected]. We ask you to be familiar with the all-CAS Diversity Action Plan draft, which you can access on the CAS diversity page:

We look forward to hearing your ideas on October 17th.


The CAS Dean’s Office

10/10/2017: VPEI Alex-Assensoh skips CAS Diversity Action Plan town hall meeting

CAS is having a town hall meeting from 3-5 today in the library reading room, on the latest draft of the CAS “Diversity Action Plan”. The order to do this came down from President Schill and VPEI Alex-Assensoh in the wake of the Halloween blackface incident. The initial draft of the CAS plan was done without much if any input from the faculty, given the initial timeline. This town hall is part of Dean Andrew Marcus’s effort to clean up this steaming pile of crap.

After complaints from the Senate about the narrow focus on race/ethnicity and gender, the May 2016 version of the VPEI’s “IDEAL” Plan now includes a more inclusive definition:

The term “diversity” can be defined in a number of different ways. The UO looks at it broadly and inclusively, encompassing race, ethnicity, disability, thought, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and economics. The UO seeks to promote further diversity among its faculty, staff, and student body through active recruitment and intentional retention.

For something called “The IDEAL Plan” there sure are a lot of different versions floating around. VPEI Alex-Assensoh never bothered to return to the Senate with the revisions, nor was she at this meeting. Word down at the faculty club is she’s still out looking for another job, after the University of Louisiana turned her down.

The current draft CAS DAP plan is here. It still uses the narrow definition of diversity. There are pages and pages of administrative speak like this:

Marcus starts off by noting that the CAS Diversity statement says:

Tolerance, inclusion, curiosity and openness are essential to advancing human understanding-and thus essential to the intellectual and academic mission of the College of Arts and Sciences. We welcome a diversity of cultures, histories, languages; different types of knowledge; different talents, abilities, training; a range of experiences, affiliations, alliances and perspectives-all are necessary for creativity, invention, collaboration and problem solving. There is no meaningful learning without challenge and difference.

He then introduces the latest interim CoDaC, Director Vickey DeRose, appointed by Alex-Assensoh without consultation with the Senate, to help manage these DAPs. Marcus then notes that much of the plan was mandated by the President and cannot be changed.

The VPEI’s office has never conducted a “diversity climate” survey, despite its enormous budget, years of talk, and planeloads of consultants:

Meanwhile, volunteers from the Business School prepared and distributed a “campus climate” survey to undergraduates, as a first step in a rational way, without support from VPEI.

Their results, from their undergraduates, show that the diversity problem (at least at LCB) goes well beyond the narrow focus on race and gender that we see emphasized in the CAS plan:

These results are similar to those from the SERU survey, which UO participates in. No one in the VPEI’s office had ever heard of it:

Lots of discussion about faculty hiring. UO’s TTF faculty is already broadly representative of the available pool of PhD’s with respect to gender and race:

Someone brings up the natural question: Why not spend more resources on building the pipeline, by recruiting more under-represented undergraduates? And, at UO, the least well represented group is now low-income students.

UO is ranked #328 out of 377 selective public colleges for promoting income mobility. 56% of our students come from families in the top 20% of the income distribution (4.3% from the top 1%) and only 4.7% come from the bottom 20%:

Our economic diversity has been getting worse over time (except perhaps for a small recent blip):

Despite this poor performance and the bad trends, UO’s long debates about diversity have generally ignored economic diversity, and this new DAP seems to be doing the same.


Mandatory Implicit Bias Training starts by noting IBT doesn’t change behavior

The UO administration is now requiring all search committee members to take a two-hour training on implicit bias. I did an abbreviated version at a BOT meeting last year, and I’m at one of the three long versions right now, with about 60 other faculty and administrators. The presenter, Erik Girvan (Law), who gives these talks often, starts this one off by acknowledging that there is lots of empirical evidence showing that these trainings do not affect implicit bias, or actual behavior. So I guess we’re just here to check a box – or for the talk, which is an interesting mix of advocacy and science.

More (from my comment), responding to a comment saying Erik did a good job:

I agree. It’s tough to mix science and advocacy without going off the rails in one direction or another – particularly when you’re being paid to present a particular argument, and the audience has been ordered to attend and pay with their time. (I’ll guess that, including the opportunity cost of attendee time, these trainings cost UO about $75,000.) Erik did a good job despite this.

There was plenty I’d argue about – i.e. the casual use of “bias” when talking about conditional means which are by definition unbiased estimates, the general over-emphasis on the implicit association test, and starting with the shades-of-gray visual illusion, which is too obvious an attempt to manipulate people into agreeing they must be biased about race too. But it did grab people’s attention.

I thought the most powerful part was the behavioral results from the randomized resume and email response surveys, which show pervasive racist behavior in decisions that are clearly related to actual mentoring and employment situations.

My understanding is that people’s racist employment decisions are generally not correlated with their IAT results. That said I think Erik successfully used the IAT as a useful teaching tool, in part because it opens people up to thinking about their own biases, and maybe about their own behavior, in a safe, non-threatening way. I can see why administrators love it, regardless of the validity of the science.

Sanjay Srivastava (Psych) posted my “check a box” comment on his @hardsci twitter, and there are a bunch of comments, including some arguing that mandatory diversity training of this sort actually harms diversity, because of a reactivity effect. Check it out at

And, for the record, I am now officially certified by the University of Oregon Office of Equity and Inclusion as being allowed to participate in faculty hiring. Please don’t tell my chair!

Hello William,

You are now enrolled in the following session: “Understanding Implicit Bias”.

Below are the date(s)/time(s) of the session: Oct 12th, 2017, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

*** Course Description ***

How can someone’s race, sex, age, and other characteristics influence the way we see and treat them even when we are genuinely trying to be unbiased? What concrete steps can we take to help prevent this from happening? To help answer these questions, this workshop introduces the concept of implicit bias. Through a mix of short presentations, lively activities, and discussions, we will explore some harmful side effects of how our brains naturally perceive, categorize, and draw inferences about the world, including other people. We will also examine when this kind of bias is most likely to occur. And we will talk about what practical steps we can all take to try to reduce or eliminate it as well as what has been shown not to work. This workshop may be of particular interest to those serving on search committees and hiring managers.

*** Session Information ***
Description:  For more information, please contact: Rafael Lopez – [email protected]

Location:  EMU: 231 & 232, Cedar & Spruce Rooms

Instructor:  Dr. Erik Girvan

Please do not reply to this email as it is automatically generated.

Thank you for using Making Tracks: A Registration and Tracking System for the University of Oregon brought to you by Professional Development.

UO is failing on economic diversity. Where’s the “Economic Diversity Action Plan”?

8/7/2017: UO is failing on economic diversity. Where’s the “Economic Diversity Action Plan”?

UO is ranked #328 out of 377  selective public colleges for promoting income mobility. 56% of our students come from families in the top 20% of the income distribution (4.3% from the top 1%) and only 4.7% come from the bottom 20%:

Our economic diversity has been getting worse over time (except perhaps for a small recent blip):

Despite this poor performance and the bad trends, UO’s long debates about diversity have generally ignored economic diversity. UO’s Institutional Research website has pages and pages of tables slicing and dicing UO’s students and faculty by every imaginable diversity metric – so long as those metrics are race and ethnicity or gender. The good news is that UO has improved markedly by all those measures over the past 10-15 years.

However, if you believe economic opportunity and diversity are important, you will have no luck finding that information on the IR website. If you go to UO’s Office of Equity and Inclusion’s “IDEAL Plan” you’ll find that the latest version now pays lip service to economic diversity, but you will not find a word about how UO compares on the relevant measures, or on the time trends. Similarly, the “Diversity Action Plans” that are now under preparation by every academic and administrative unit under the supervision of Equity and Inclusion have little if anything to say about economic diversity – it’s all race with a bit of gender.

Fortunately there is a new paper out with the data for UO and other colleges:

Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility
Raj Chetty, John Friedman, Emmanuel Saez, Nicholas Turner, and Danny Yagan
National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 23618, Revised Version, July 2017
Fact sheet: PDF
Non-technical summary: PDF
Paper: PDF
Slides: PDF | PPT
Data: Stata / Excel
NYT Interactive Tool to Explore Data: Web

Unfortunately that paper makes it very clear UO is failing when it comes to promoting economic diversity. The figures at the top of this post come from the NYT summary for UO:

new study, based on millions of anonymous tax records, shows that some colleges are even more economically segregated than previously understood, while others are associated with income mobility.

Below, estimates of how University of Oregon compares with its peer schools in economic diversity and student outcomes.

The median family income of a student from University of Oregon is $126,400, and 56% come from the top 20 percent. About 1.4% of students at University of Oregon came from a poor family but became a rich adult.

When it comes to economic diversity UO is near the bottom whether you look at selective publics, the PAC-12, or other Oregon universities:

It would be nice to believe that these sad results will help drive UO’s diversity debate and spending priorities for promoting diversity.

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UO spending on racial diversity triples since 2011, consultants cash in

This does not seem to include spending on the UMRP, probably about $1M a year, or spending by the colleges:

Here’s a snippet of the 2015-16 Equity and Inclusion’s operations spending. From what I can tell none of it went to help students pay tuition. Outside consultants got $360K for “services and supplies” – and they’ve already topped that for 2016-17:



UO undergrad calls for more diversity of ideas

Mateo Sundberg’s Op-Ed is on the Daily Emerald website here:

Over one year ago, the Black Student Task Force released a list of twelve demands for the University of Oregon administration to address campus issues surrounding diversity and tolerance. One of the demands, demand number six, was a request for the University of Oregon to commit to hiring more African-American professors, specifically in areas outside of the humanities and the social sciences, to encourage diversity in our university’s faculty.

However, this demand, and many other similar demands for diversity by means of race and ethnicity in higher education, fails to reach its goal of creating a space of intellectual rigor, debate and ideological diversity.

Commentators on both the political left and right have highlighted how academic departments value diversity in the form of race and ethnicity over diversity in thought. Few people would try to argue that having an entire faculty of white, middle-aged, straight and upper-middle class professors would create a campus climate that was diverse and inclusive. Sadly, this line of thought does not ring true when applied to faculty having diverse political ideologies.

The University of Oregon should continue to pursue faculty candidates of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds because the life experiences and worldviews of minorities are important and valuable for intellectual debate.

However, if the universities do not diagnose and fix their ideological bias problem, they will become an echo chamber of only liberal ideas and thought, which would result in the failure of our universities duty to be a space of intellectual rigor that is full of debate. Universities do not have a monopoly on knowledge and intellect; they need to hire more faculty members of diverse ideological and political thought before universities render themselves obsolete.

Please consider commenting on the ODE site. Also see this post on Nick Kristof’s recent NYT Op-Ed on the same theme.

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:


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.


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.

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.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 12.45.38 PM

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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Board of Trustees ASAC to meet Wed by phone to approve CoE diversity plan

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 2:30 pm HEDCO Education Building, Room 240. It’s a telephonic meeting, but apparently there will be a phone there to listen in. The full draft of the proposal is here.

From what I can tell this is the first specific reference to the administration’s use of the confidential Academic Analytics data to rank departments.

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Professor Zack neither thrilled nor honored to get UO’s MLK award

UO Professor Naomi Zack (Philosophy) is talking today at 12:00 at the ceremony in the Ford Alumni Center. She asked me to post this Eric Kelderman report on her thoughts about the award, in the Chronicle here:

…  Ms. Zack said she was skeptical of some of the measures underway at the university because they rely too much on decisions at the department level, where people are too inclined to hire those like themselves. To prevent that, she said, the hiring process needs to be directed more from the administration.

“It’s human nature to hire people who are the students of your friends,” Ms. Zack said in an interview. That’s not necessarily racist, she said, but “the problem is that it works against excellence.”

“These hires need to be conducted by people who are required to look at the good of the institution as a whole,” she said. “We need something top-down here.”

Non affirmative action compliant Triplett hire

11/4/2014 update: UO Auditor to investigate Affirmative Action waiver for Triplett hire

The UO administration spends millions on promoting student and faculty diversity. But will it follow the law when it comes to hiring Johnson Hall administrators? UO’s new Auditor is going to look into it:

From: Brenda Muirhead <[email protected]>
To: William Harbaugh <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: PR request, AAEO documents
Date: November 4, 2014 at 3:47:51 PM PST


Thank you for the email yesterday. I will review this case and determine if a request to waive a search was appropriately approved for this position. If you have any questions about the fraud and ethics reporting process, please don’t hesitate to contact my office at 541-346-6541.

Brenda Muirhead
UO Office of Internal Audit

11/3/2014: UO violated Title VII in Asst VP of Collaboration hire, according to Public Records Office:

Title VII is the section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act involving hiring, generally known as “affirmative action”. UO’s affirmative action policies require basic good hiring practices such as an open search and public job announcement, or an explanation for the exception. I’m no detective, but I think this evidence that UO violated its policies in hiring its new Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaboration is called “the dog that didn’t bark”:

From: “Thornton, Lisa” <[email protected]>
Date: October 16, 2014 at 12:14:09 PM PDT
Subject: Public Records Request 2015-PRR-076


Dear Mr. Harbaugh-

The University does not possess records responsive to your request made 10/06/2014 for “documents related to the job search for the new UO Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaborations… [s]pecifically I am requesting any documents showing exemptions or exceptions to the UO job search procedures”. [The full request is below].

The office considers this to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.


Lisa Thornton
Office of Public Records
University of Oregon
Office of the President

Presumably Ms Thornton and Dave Hubin have already brought this potential non-compliance with state and federal affirmative action law to the attention of Interim General Counsel Doug Park, for swift investigation and appropriate remedial efforts. But just in case, I have cced Park on the notification – at the risk of another set of retaliatory emails from him, accusing me of harassment.

10/16/2014: Administration kicks off diversity plan by hiring new AVP without an affirmative action search

“Around the 0” has the latest window dressing, here:

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 2.43.09 AM

Sounds great. So, did they do an affirmative action compliant search for their latest Assistant VP hire? Doesn’t seem likely:

Subject: Re: PR request, AAEO documents
Date: October 15, 2014 at 11:04:18 AM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <p[email protected]> Cc: doug park <[email protected]>

Dear Ms Thornton

It’s been more than a week since I made this PR request. I would appreciate it if you could let me know when you expect to be able to provide the documents.

On MondayOct 6, 2014, at 3:19 PM:

Dear Ms Thornton –

This is a public records request for documents related to the job search for the new UO Assistant VP for University Initiatives and Collaborations, announced here:

Specifically I am requesting any documents showing exemptions or exceptions to the UO job search procedures explained at and

I believe that this search and hire may have violated UO policies and procedures, and Oregon and Federal affirmative action hiring laws, and therefore I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

10/1/2014: Chuck Triplett, who helped Pernsteiner fire Lariviere, now works in JH Continue reading

Scott Greenstone in the ODE on UO’s freshman class

Excellent reporting. Read it all, here:

… Targeting low-income students helps diversity because minority students are statistically more likely to fall into the low-income bracket, according to Grant Schoonover, an adviser for Pathway Oregon.

“There’s a greater number of first generation and historically underrepresented students in that cross-section,” Schoonover said.

Students who qualify for Pathway Oregon get a promise from the university that any tuition and fees the federal Pell grant and state grants don’t cover, the UO will absorb.

… But much of this change in diversity could simply be because high schools are getting more diverse, says Peace Bransberger, a research analyst for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

“If you look at the simple view, you’ll see that even from 2005… entering classes of students are more diverse,” Bransberger said.

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.
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