August 7, 2012

Penn Is Cutting Back on White Male Faculty

Columbia is not the only elite university promoting exclusionary hiring in a big way. The University of Pennsylvania has just announced that it will spend $100 million over the next five years "on hiring and retaining more diverse faculty members."

George Leef asks a very good question: "Why does it cost so much money to simply screen out all applicants who don't have the ancestry or other characteristics that make them diverse'"? In any event $100 million should buy a lot of "diversity," whatever the reason and in fact whatever "diversity" is.

Penn President Amy Gutmann said that data is "not available to track our progress for ... types of diversity [other than racial and gender diversity], but that in no way diminishes the importance of all types of diversity to Penn's educational mission and the vitality of its campus."

Gutmann also said that "all of those who are employed by Penn are asked to self-identify their race and gender after they are hired." Left unexplained was how Penn proposed to determine the race and gender of the new "diversity" applicants before they were hired, which you'd think would be necessary for a hiring program whose purpose is to increase gender-based and pigmentary  "diversity." (See here for an almost humorous example from my experience of a department that did not avoid buying a pig in a poke in attempting to make a "diversity" hire.)

Also left unexplained is how Penn can attempt to hire and retain more "diverse" faculty members (defined whether wholly or partly by race, gender, and ethnicity) without running afoul of its own embarrassingly clear and forthright non-discrimination policies. Its Policy of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination, for example, could hardly be more clear:

Penn is committed to ensuring that all academic programs (except where age or sex are bona fide occupational qualifications), including social and recreational programs, and services are administered without regard to an individual's protected-class status. 

Penn is also committed to ensuring that its personnel and other employment decisions are made without regard to an individual's protected-class status....

The blatant conflict between current practice and stated principle is enough to have led at least one observer (and one I know quite well) to comment on Preferences, Principles, and Hypocrisy in Higher Education.

In her pre-presidential scholarly career Penn President Amy Gutmann wrote widely about race, multiculturalism, and affirmative action. Perhaps in one of her now frequent conversations with the press she can explain how it is possible for the university to make a special effort to hire and retain "more diverse faculty members" -- especially a $100 million effort -- while studiously treating all prospective and current employees "without regard" to their race, gender, or ethnicity.

Comments (4)


There are at least two reasons I can think of for a lot of money. First, the diverse candidate you really want is likely to agree to come only at a premium to the market. Second--and this is where it can add up--it can be the case that a desirable diversity candidate will have qualifications that are just a tad off from what the department wants. In such cases the special fund kicks in to pay for one of the candidates, presumably too good to get away even if one off. That is my experience at any rate. Still a lot of $.

Guy Jones:

"Also left unexplained is how Penn can attempt to hire and retain more "diverse" faculty members (defined whether wholly or partly by race, gender, and ethnicity) without running afoul of its own embarrassingly clear and forthright non-discrimination policies."

Therein lies the logical and moral fallacy at the heart of race and sex-based preferential treatment in school admissions, hiring and contract awarding (the eupemistically referred-to "diversity" practices). In order to allegedly rectify past discrimination and in order to give a patronizing "leg up" to allegedly aggrieved members of a "victim" class (who, it is dubiously claimed, can't succeed on the basis of their own merit) it is deemed to be perfectly acceptable -- even laudable -- to perpetuate discrimination on the basis of sex and race; however, this time, with reversed beneficiaries and victims!! And, laughably, all in the name of working towards some perverted liberal notion of "equality!!" Two wrongs make a right, apparently, according to liberal doctrine.

The transparent and illogical hypocrisy of the Left knows no bounds.


In order to increase "diversity" hires, an absolute must is to increase the number of people working in the University Department of "Diversity"

An extra 20 hires at an annual compensation cost (including salary, taxes, benefits, and pension) of around $150k per hire, would certainly help use up a portion of that $100M over 10 years or so.


Is there any chance that all of this "diversity" hiring is really a screen by and for female faculty to hire more women? In other words, I don't think the philosophy department is going to find many Hispanics or blacks who are interested in making a modest faculty salary when there are so many more lucrative opportunities for somebody with a 130+ IQ. And I think faculty recognize that. Announce a big diversity push, everybody forgets about it in a week, and then hire lots of female candidates to fill the diversity slots. I wouldn't put that past an expert academic operator like Guttman.

Post a comment

Leave comments here. Unless they are vicious or obscene, they will be printed.


Published by the Manhattan Institute
The Manhattan Insitute's Center for the American University.