Posted on April 25, 2019

At Yale, ‘Diversity’ Means More of the Same

Heather Mac Donald, Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2019

Yale President Peter Salovey announced a major expansion of the school’s diversity bureaucracy this month, providing a case study in how not to lead a respected institution of higher education.

The pretext for this latest accretion of bureaucratic bloat was a May 2018 incident in a graduate student dorm. Sarah Braasch, a 43-year-old doctoral candidate in philosophy, called campus police at 1:40 a.m. to report someone sleeping in a common room, which she believed was against dorm rules. Yale administrators knew Ms. Braasch had psychological problems and that she had a history of bad blood with the sleeping student, Lolade Siyonbola, a 35-year-old doctoral candidate in African studies. But because Ms. Braasch is white and Ms. Siyonbola is black, the administration chose to turn the incident into a symbol of what Mr. Salovey called the university’s “discrimination and racism.”

Yale leaders immediately announced a slew of new initiatives: “implicit bias” training for graduate students, grad-school staff and campus police; instruction in how to run “inclusive classrooms”; “community building” sessions; a student retreat to develop the next phase of equity and inclusion programming. Despite this flurry of corrective measures, Kimberly M. Goff-Crews, Yale’s secretary and vice president for student life, ominously declared there was still “much more to do.”

That “more” was soon in coming. Yale commissioned an outside diversity bureaucrat—Benjamin Reese, vice president of institutional equity at Duke—to evaluate its diversity infrastructure, which, predictably, he found sorely lacking. Never mind Mr. Reese’s acknowledgment that Yale receives “few” student complaints about what the diversity industry calls “D&H” (discrimination and harassment) or his own claim that diversity training is of “little long-term utility.” What Yale needed, according to Mr. Reese, was even more “expert”-run training “related to race and other aspects of identity and difference.”

Most predictably, Yale accepted Mr. Reese’s recommendations. Yale will create a costly new diversity sinecure: a deputy secretary for diversity, equity, and inclusion. The university will also hire a cadre of diversity “specialists” to teach the Yale community about a “culture of belonging,” in Mr. Salovey’s words.

These new positions come on top of Yale’s existing diversity bureaucracy: {snip}

In addition to the new hires, the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration will receive further funding for diversity events and speakers.

What is the evidence of Yale’s “hate and exclusion,” as Mr. Salovey has put it, to justify this ever-growing antibias apparatus? There is none. {snip}

{snip}

Far from harboring “hate and exclusion,” Yale has spent millions of dollars trying to outbid competing universities for the small number of blacks and Hispanics in the faculty hiring pipeline. In 2015 Mr. Salovey pledged $50 million for faculty diversity, money that has netted more than 60 “diverse” hires. In 2016 the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences disclosed that no “underrepresented minority” professor had lost a tenure bid during the previous five years. Needless to say, this isn’t the case for professors who happen to be white men. While Yale doesn’t reveal the SAT scores of its freshman class by race, it is a virtual certainty that the college extends preferences to black and Hispanic applicants.

{snip} The ever-growing diversity bureaucracy at Yale and elsewhere is an invitation for endless student complaint and protest. The ensuing agitation is a boon for bureaucrats. For the rest of us, it augurs a country ever more primed to see bias where none exists and ever more divided by group identity.

[Editor’s Note: Readers are encouraged to read the full article.]