We Don’t Need More Money

Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan at Flint and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, recently calculated that his university has nearly 100 diversity administrators, more than 25 of them earning over $100,000 a year. Collectively, they cost the University of Michigan, with fringe benefits, about $11 million annually. Adding in other costs such as travel and office space expenses, the total cost rises to perhaps $14 million, or $300 for every enrolled student at the U of M in the fall semester 2017.

Of course, it’s not equally bad everywhere because most colleges can’t afford this much diversity personnel but we all have this problem. Perry didn’t calculate how much money these diversity blabberers eat up in idiotic initiatives, flyers, emails they bombard faculty with, distracting us from real work, etc. So the actual cost is higher.

Before we subsidize more of this insanity with public funds through the initiatives like Elizabeth Warren’s, we need to figure out what tuition would be like without all this expensive, useless stuff.

My school has the lowest paid professors in the state. We also have very low graduation rates. But we waste money on constant diversity activities, none of which center learning, books, or knowledge in any way. All people do in them is get together to chant PC mantras.

So when faculty get together to demand higher funding, I can’t get excited about that. I know from experience that this funding will never go to grow the library or raise faculty pay. We’ll just hire more diversity freaks.

Higher education doesn’t need more money. The way things are right now, it’s only going to make everything worse.

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17 thoughts on “We Don’t Need More Money”

  1. Well, in most places tuition needs to get back to a dull roar and the only answer to that I can see is return to higher levels of state funding.

    Re all the administrators including diversity ones, yeah. But then I am in Spanish where we are teaching a “diverse” thing and most people hired are either Hispanic in some way or women or gay or something non mainstream. You can be in any race or gender situation and be Hispanic and that is how it has been for centuries and you can then discuss discrimination and so on from within that and also outside it, so all this diversity conversation me tiene sin cuidado because it is already a central topic for us. Other people in other fields have severe problems sometimes.

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      1. We have a super diverse department and are now going into receivership while a white woman from another department is going to tell us how to solve our racial issues.

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        1. So “diversity” does not end discrimination or conflict — this is yet another of the things I have been pointing out for a few decades, but people do not listen.

          So it is for racial issues, specifically, that you are going into receivership, or are you allowed to say?

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          1. One of the goals of the new chair is supposed to be “coordinating training in how to foster a more inclusive and equitable working and learning environment, especially with regard to gender and racial/ethnic/national differences.” There are other issues I won’t go into. Of course, if there are conflicts within a diverse group of people, then some of those conflicts will be interpreted in terms of those identity categories. So, for example, a Latino male perceived to be sexist. He could be the object of discrimination or the discriminator, depending on the perspective. The chair herself is a minority woman, etc… She is perceived as unfair to various people, males, females, and to Latinos and not Latinos, some faculty and some graduate students. I tend to think people are not getting along because of mistakes they make, or through poor communication skills, or because, in some cases, they might be assholes. But in a “diverse” environment these conflicts tend to get labeled as sins against diversity.

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            1. In an academic department, where people stew in the same small environment for years of decades, chances of conflicts arising from anything but interpersonal issues are extremely slim. It’s really ridiculous to bring diversity concerns into it.

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            2. Gosh, she’d only been chair a short time and it already sent you into receivership? I think all of this has to do with, the university is changing so much, nobody knows how to behave any more. It used to be far more obvious how collegiality and leadership and governance worked. But now that they have dispensed with the old governance structures, and replaced with corporatism, favoritism and chaos, everyone hates each other and thinks they are being discriminated against for their identity.

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    1. \ But then I am in Spanish where we are teaching a “diverse” thing and most people hired are either Hispanic in some way or women or gay or something non mainstream. […] Other people in other fields have severe problems sometimes.

      Since I live in Israeli, completely different reality – without hearing the word “diversity” ever – I wanted to ask for clarification regarding “severe problems” and how diversity administrators can help fixing them.

      If “severe problems” stand for the vast majority of professors and students being male and while, then the problem can be tackled by trying to improve the school system and by academics meeting with prospective students in the attempt to attrack them to sciences f.e.

      I read lots of criticism directed at diversity administrators on this blog, yet severe problems with diversity are a fact everybody agrees with. How would you try to solve it? Can a diversity administrator provide any real assistance if he truly wants to help? How?

      On another issue – I apologize in advance for failing to express my thoughts better, more sensitively:

      I also have another potentially controversive direction of thought. Should a university try to ensure most students meet gay or Hispanic or non mainstream professors? Why? It just partly feels like a quasi-religious (neoliberal?) propaganda. When I pay money to a university, I do not pay for discussing discrimination unless a course naturally touches on those issues as some courses which I studied and loved did.

      The assumption seems to be that students will have difficulty in functioning in modern, global, diverse society unless they undergo an apprenticeship in the art of diversity (?).

      I thought why I had strong reaction against it and understood that, as a student, I do not see university as a place which has any right to give me ‘moral lessons,’ while assuming from the beginning I have a need for them.

      I think I did project some feelings and made several mistakes in those sentences, but there is a basic question here which is hopefully legitimate and worthy of consideration.

      P.S The last bit is the issue of what is considered diversity. I had one Arab and one Italian professor, and have a feeling that for Israel only the former one would be held up as an example of diversity, providing required lessons.

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      1. There is an approach to college teaching which posits that professors stand towards students in loco parentis, or in place of the parent. The proponents of this approach believe that parents hand over students to us and it’s now our job to continue raising them. So we not only teach them our material but also form their character. Such professors are the ones who ban technology in the classroom and require handwritten note-taking because it’s better for learning. These are professors who have strict attendance policies and deadlines because they want to instil responsibility in students. And so on.

        The alternative approach is the one that posits students as junior colleagues. There is still a hierarchy but such professors do not see themselves as entitled to teach morality, responsibility, or do any “raising” of the students. As we all know, I belong to the latter group. The professors in the first group mystify me. I have no idea why they want to do the raising of somebody else’s adult children. To me, students are fully formed adults, and I’d feel very weird teaching them anything outside my subject matter. So yes, I agree with you.

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        1. In Israel, we go to university after army service, often in combat units, so “in loco parentis” approach may be less popular.

          How would you solve diversity problems? What I’ve written or also something else?

          Do you see the problem as lying only in minorities not having access to university education of a certain kind (like sciences) or also in something else?

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          1. The best predictor of a child’s academic success in all and any disciplines is whether parents read to the child every day since infancy, whether the child is surrounded by books at home, and whether the child sees parents read paper books. Now we will increasingly see smartphone addiction as a factor. But at this point, it’s the factors I listed. There are some very rare outliers, but normally you can’t obviate the factors I listed for academic success.

            We can chant diversity slogans ad nauseam but it’s a total waste of time. Students come to college, and they either can read a book or they can’t. And that’s all there is to it.

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            1. “Students come to college, and they either can read a book or they can’t. And that’s all there is to it.”

              IIRC reading habits are crucial and most people’s reading habits are set pretty early, if you don’t read for pleasure by age 10 or so then you probably never will.
              My parents weren’t the reading to us type but the house was lousy with books (which I thought was normal until I visited friends houses without bookshelves all over the place) and there weren’t any off limits books (which has its good and bad points….).

              Liked by 1 person

      2. From what I remember, “diversity” is the namby-pamby thing anti-discrimination morphed into. When I was younger there was antiracism, anti-discrimination, affirmative action and other forms of restorative justice. This medicine was too strong for some people so we got “diversity” and all this talk of the need to function in global society.

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  2. “Diversity” entered with conversation with the Bakke case (1979). Bakke sued UC Davis to get into med school. He won but in the decision the SCOTUS said schools could justify affirmative action through the appeal to diversity, rather than having a straight up focus on anti-discrimination.

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