Monday, January 25, 2016

Kentucky Physicist Wanted: No White People Need Apply

By Professor Doom

     The University of Louisville is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Employer, committed to diversity. In that spirit, the Department of Physics and Astronomy announces a tenure-track Assistant Professor position that will be filled by an African American, a Hispanic American, or a Native American Indian.

--note carefully that last line. The university had to add “Indian” at the end, because anyone born in America is technically a native, and they didn’t want to risk a white person being hired this way.

     The above ad appeared in October of 2015. Yes, I know that makes it somewhat old news, but…I’m confused. When Trump makes a gaffe that’s even vaguely racist, it’s all over the news, and I can’t even begin to count the number of public figures that have seen their careers end due to an offhand comment leading to months of wailing in the media.

     But this ad was no offhand comment, it was typed up professionally, and posted. You don’t just slap up a job ad in higher education willy-nilly, you have to go through a process of showing need, and have a discussion with admin over what you’re looking for. The HR department typed it up and posted it, being sure to satisfy the needs of the department, and the needs of administration. The last line of the ad comes from admin.

     Here’s something else from admin:

Equal Employment Opportunity
The University of Louisville is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Employer, committed to community engagement and diversity, and in that spirit, seeks applications from a broad variety of candidates.

     The above was directly before the paragraph specifying what types of minorities are acceptable for the physicist position. HR typed up that, too, since admin requires that policy regarding “equal opportunity” be followed. Well, they must say as much, but admin has made it clear, many times, that they’ll ignore any policy that gets in their way.

Admin: “There’s no such thing as mathematical game theory, and, frankly, I’m a little angry you would try to trick me.”

Me: “…”

--not close to the stupidest thing I’ve been told by admin at a community college, but I want to emphasize the intimidation factor here. You must agree to admin…or else.

      In this blog I’ve made many claims about how corrupt and/or incompetent administration in higher education is. I know these claims sound outlandish, which is why I try so hard to document when I see elsewhere, the things I’ve seen with my own eyes.

Me: “So, you’re telling me that we’ve documented at least 1/3 of the courses on this campus require literally nothing from our students, no papers, no tests, no nothing…they need not show up even one time, and still get an A for the course?”

Registrar: “Yes.”

     So, I’m telling you that community colleges can operate completely fraudulently, and there will be no repercussions…and I follow up with studies and books that explicitly discuss the open criminality of community colleges.

Me: “I, and a number of my colleagues, have noticed that many students, slightly less than half, disappear after ‘check day’ when they receive their Pell Grant checks. Can we please do something about the obvious fraudsters? I note in the contact information for my students that a number of them are, supposedly, commuting over 500 miles to come to this school, which literally has nothing not offered at every other community college.”

Admin: “We need those students, and they are entitled to come here.”

     I’ve written of the Pell Grant fraud, and how administration literally doesn’t care about all the fraudulent students on campus, and, of course, documented that this fraud represents a large percentage of the “students” in higher education today. These students register in multiple colleges, picking up the checks and moving on, while admin deliberately turns a blind eye. Admin are paid based on the size of the institution, you see, not on legitimacy of the students or quality of the education.

Faculty: “The person who was selected for the position was not interviewed by the hiring committee, and, in fact, she is not qualified.”

Admin: “We need more female representation in the math department.”

--the new hire in question was also the Dean’s girlfriend. A fistfight nearly broke out over this, because it was so blatant, not that faculty could do anything about it.

     I understand that this sort of news is not “sexy,” but I’ve also spoken of the virulent racism and sexism on campus today, especially when it comes to hiring. And, once again, I’ve produced very clear documentation, this time in that job ad.

     I repeat the key line:
“…position that will be filled by an African American, a Hispanic American, or a Native American Indian.”

     Why isn’t the job posting sexy enough to merit an uproar in the media? It’s very clear racism, it’s very clearly in violation of the no-discrimination equal opportunity policy the university helpfully provided directly above the job posting. I promise you, no administrator will lose her job over this gross error.

     I’ve waited patiently for weeks for…something. Why isn’t this all over the news? Heck, the “water buffalo incident” merits a page on Wikipedia, even though the “slur” is hardly racist. 

     But this open violation of policy, of common sense, of fairness, merits…almost nothing. Only a specialized site, Inside Higher Education, covers the story in much detail.

     To be fair, someone with an ounce of common sense did point out, after the ad was posted, how ridiculously insulting it was. The excuse from admin, is, of course, pure lies:

The ad, posted in mid-October, was taken down after the department received a complaint that the preferences didn’t include applicants with disabilities, said C.S. Jayanthi, chair of physics and astronomy. She said she forwarded the complaint to administrators, and the ad was promptly removed.

     Never in my 25+ years of higher education has an administrator requested we hire a disabled faculty member…but time and time and time again, I’ve been told how we “need” to hire a specific gender, or a specific minority, “or else.”

     The real nature of the error is acknowledged, sort of, by admin elsewhere:

“I’ve never seen that before and it strikes me as inappropriate,” said Benjamin Reese Jr., vice president and chief diversity officer at Duke University

      The gentle reader needs to understand campuses are bloated with 6-figure paid administrators, such as the above “vice president and chief diversity officer,” and the entirety of their jobs is to keep the racism private. The University of Louisville, of course, has their own Office of Diversity (you can see pictures of their two top female minority commissars administrators, including a Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs at the institution which posted the vile ad)…why aren’t they screaming loudly about the bias here? Why do we even have these overpaid diversity hires if not to stop this sort of thing?

     Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.  Remember the above quote saying the issue was the ad didn’t include people with disabilities? It doesn’t take long for admin to contradict herself:

Jayanthi said she wondered how the department was supposed to attract minority candidates without explicitly saying so in the job ad.

     So much for it being about disabilities. The chair, incidentally, is female, in a field, physics, with mostly male degree holders (by a wide margin). Is it unfair to guess that her gender was part of her rise to admin? I’ve been on campuses where most every administrative position was female…even in my field, math, which has about as many female Ph.D.s as physics does, which is to say, not many. Strange coincidence, really…I don’t mean to cast aspersions on her, but in light of that ad, someone with an open mind has to at least consider such things.   
     The gentle reader needs to understand this kind of bigoted hiring has been going on for quite some time. I know, this is just another claim by me, a random blogger…but the only way that ad could have gotten posted is if everyone had been told specifically what kind of skin color was going to be hired (and, of course, what kind was not).

      Usually, the bigoted hiring is done with a wink and a nod, and it’s not so open. A few comments on the article    show I’m hardly alone in knowing this:

I'm not surprised by this article. Universities have been hiring minorities over social justice concerns for years.

I don't agree with hiring for race; but I will say, at least the Louisville administrators are being honest about their intentions.

     I have to agree with the above sentiment; administration lies so often that the truth, in writing, from admin is pretty refreshing.

There are quite a few universities who do exactly what the University of Louisville did here, with the only difference being that they are not so transparent and obvious about excluding some groups from consideration. My own university recently instituted an initiative in which departments were told that they may hire members of only one racial group for a series of positions made available by the upper administration. We were told that no candidates who were outside of this specific racial group--including candidates from other diversity groups--would be considered…

     Consider how blatantly illegal the “initiative” referenced above is…and there’s not the slightest chance any lawsuit will come of it. And, I’m telling you, our institutions of higher education have been hiring like this, more or less surreptitiously, for many years.

     Of all the open frauds going on in higher education right now, this one might be of the least concern to our kids suffering under the student loan scam, but it’s possibly the most relevant: the forcible insertion of identity politics into hiring means our kids are indebting themselves, not to learn from people who are legitimately interested in helping others, but are instead…simply the right gender or skin color. Since education is clearly not even a remote concern, what are the odds that our kids will get an education worthy of what they’re paying for in this system?

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