University of Wisconsin adopts racial/sexual "diversity" in grading students

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W. Lee Hansen, a professor emeritus of economics at UW-Madison, wrote the following op-ed piece for the John William Hope Pope Center for Higher Education, a North Carolina-based think tank, about the latest “diversity” plan for the UW-System’s flagship school.

Madness in Madison

Professor W. Lee HansenThe University of Wisconsin’s latest diversity plan calls for “equity” in high-demand majors and the distribution of grades.
By W. Lee Hansen

July 16, 2014

Many American colleges and universities are in the thrall of “diversity,” but none more so than my institution, the University of Wisconsin. This spring, the university adopted a new plan that, according to Board of Regents policy, “[p]laces the mission of diversity at the center of institutional life so that it becomes a core organizing principle.
That is, promoting diversity appears to be more important than teaching students. 
This Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence sailed through our Faculty Senate without the least bit of attention, much less the “sifting and winnowing” on which it prides itself.
Although much of the language is a thicket of clichés, no one dared challenge it. Moreover, there was no probing of the ramifications of the plan. Apparently, “diversity” has become such a sacred cow that even tenured professors are afraid to question it in any way.  
To begin, the university’s justification for the new policy is difficult to understand: “Our commitment is to create an environment that engages the whole person in the service of learning, recognizing that individual differences should be considered foundational to our strength as a community.”
That language is mere education babble, but the Faculty Senate swallowed it whole. So did the academic staff and the students.
The plan’s definition of diversity focuses on a wide array of differences that can be found in every enrolled student. Here’s what it includes:

Individual differences in personality, learning styles, and life experiences, and group or social differences that may manifest through personality, learning styles, life experiences, and group or social differences. Our definition of diversity also incorporates differences of race and ethnicity; sex; gender; and gender identity or expression; sexual orientation; age; country of origin; language; physical and intellectual ability; emotional health; socio-economic status; and affiliations that are based on cultural, political, religious, or other identities.

[Question from Eowyn: Does “diversity in intellectual ability” means certified morons and idiots, since they are under-represented in America’s colleges and universities, should get an “A” or minimally a “P” (passing) grade?]
The list is so expansive that it leads one to conclude that every student is “diverse.” And I believe that is correct. Every student is different in so many ways that it makes no sense to say that some students “increase diversity” while others don’t.
The new plan provides no information on how the addition of these “individual and group/social differences” can create an environment that “engages the whole person,” whatever that means. Based on my experience, I would have no idea how to incorporate these “differences” into my economics teaching.
I wish someone had asked what bearing these particular “individual and group or social differences” have on student learning. Most people believe that individual differences in intelligence, aptitude, motivation, commitment, high school class rank, ACT/SAT scores, and academic preparation are far more important in contributing to student learning.
Those latter differences, what most people view as indicators of academic excellence, indeed are appropriate considerations at an institution priding itself as being a world-class teaching and research university.
How will the university assemble information on these supposedly crucial “differences”? Most applicants will not be able to describe their “learning styles,” or how to characterize their “personalities,” or how to assess their “emotional health.” Moreover, many students would hesitate to disclose personal information about their “cultural, political, religious, or other identities.” Without that information, it won’t be possible to use them “in the service of learning,” assuming that this notion is something other than empty rhetoric.
To achieve the plan’s vague aims, the Ad Hoc Diversity Planning Committee formulated five goals and thirty detailed recommendations. Unbeknownst to faculty senators, these goals and recommendations are based on the “Inclusive Excellence” framework adopted earlier by the Board of Regents. (See Agenda Item II.6 for the March 5, 2009, meeting of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents; in the PDF file: Madness in Madison)
That framework includes eight essential “working definitions,” among them the already-discussed diversity, as well as others: “compositional diversity,” “critical mass,” “inclusion,” “equity mindedness,” “deficit-mindedness,” “representational equity,” and “excellence.”
Let us take a closer look at one of these working definitions included, namely “representational equity.”
It calls for “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.” 
We are not told exactly what adherence to this will entail. It appears to mean that directors of programs and departmental chairs will have to somehow ensure that they have a mix of students with just the right percentages of individuals who embody the various “differences” included in the definition of diversity. I cannot see how that is possible and even if it were, how it improves any student’s education.
Suppose there were a surge of interest in a high demand field such as computer science. Under the “equity” policy, it seems that some of those who want to study this field would be told that they’ll have to choose another major because computer science already has “enough” students from their “difference” group.
Especially shocking is the language about “equity” in the distribution of grades. Professors, instead of just awarding the grade that each student earns, would apparently have to adjust them so that academically weaker, “historically underrepresented racial/ethnic” students perform at the same level and receive the same grades as academically stronger students.  
At the very least, this means even greater expenditures on special tutoring for weaker targeted minority students. It is also likely to trigger a new outbreak of grade inflation, as professors find out that they can avoid trouble over “inequitable” grade distributions by giving every student a high grade.
Is there any reason to believe that the UW system’s Inclusive Excellence plan implemented at UW-Madison is going to improve the education of its students? I can see no reason to think so. Actually, the contrary seems more likely.
One problem is that the obsession with all those non-academic details about students comes with a cost—the cost of good students who are not admitted because they don’t seem “diverse” enough. Also, some of the preferred, “diverse” students will be admitted with significantly weaker academic capabilities than their classmates.
Although campus officials regularly fail to publicize detailed results of their diversity programs, my investigations show that roughly a quarter of its “diverse” targeted minority students do not meet the competitive admission standard applied to other applicants. This means that the students UW-Madison is trying to help instead find themselves at an immediate academic disadvantage.
Moreover, the obsession with groups distracts everyone from what truly matters—whether or not each student makes the best academic progress.
The campus climate has worsened by constantly referring to minority students as “targeted” minority students, and in the process stigmatizing them. It has also led to an unseemly “us versus them” mindset among many of those students.
That manifested itself several years ago when Roger Clegg, general counsel of the Washington-based Center for Equal Opportunity came to Madison to report on his research showing that the university’s racial preference policy meant severe discrimination against white and Asian applicants. Two senior UW officials orchestrated a disgraceful pro-diversity mob-like student demonstration at the hotel near campus where Clegg was making his presentation.
The demonstrators burst in and shouted Clegg down until he left the building. (Peter Wood has a good account of the entire matter in this Chronicle piece.)
It is impossible for me to imagine anything less consistent with the values of any educational institution than organizing a mob to protest a talk. It is also impossible for me to think that such a thing could have happened at Madison but for the obsession with diversity that has been building for years.
The University of Wisconsin adopted its first diversity plan back in 1966 and every few years it launches a much-touted new one. During my 30-year teaching career at Madison, followed by more than a decade of retirement, I have seen not the slightest bit of evidence that the fixation on “diversity” has made the campus better in any respect.
I predict this new Inclusive Excellence plan will fail to produce its hoped-for utopian outcomes. In a few years, the university will hear demands for yet another diversity plan.
Achieving “diversity” is like sailing toward the horizon.
You never get there.
H/t EAGnews

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0 responses to “University of Wisconsin adopts racial/sexual "diversity" in grading students

  1. This is madness. Thank you Dr. Eowyn, for revealing the foolishness in yet another educational institution.

  2. Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses.

  3. Reblogged this on Revolt of the Barbarians and commented:
    Great look at the machinations behind the administrative policies in modern academia. This is not a unique example.

  4. This reminds me of a sci fi short story I read many years ago. Society had “evolved” to the point where everyone had to be equal. If you were an outstanding athlete, you had to wear iron weights to negate your strength. If you were an intellectual you had to wear headphones that blared excruciating noise at random intervals so you could not concentrate. If you were handsome or beautiful you had to bear some disfiguration apparatus.
    The stronger and smarter you were, the more crippling the “equalization” measures imposed upon you.
    We are now there.

    • The short story “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut… “Examination Day,” by Henry Slesar, is even worse.

    • Sig—there’s a middle school core novel called “The Giver” that describes a society that strove for complete egalitarianism among the populace, to the point that science arrived at everyone being “color blind” (therefore, no skin colors, but also NO hair or eye or other colors..everything was equally gray, nothing to be valued one thing above another)& complete control by the government..even down to choosing your career for you by the age of 12…& everyone had to have “precision of language” (like calling the fight against “terrorism” “an overseas contingency operation” or illegal aliens “undocumented migrants,” & so on) or you’d be severely punished for misspeaking. And, the old were sent off to be “recycled” (die) when they’d outlived their usefulness (shades of Obamacare) . And of course, there was NO deity…since ALL THINGS came from the government…Does any of this sound familiar???? It’s getting TOO REAL FOR ME LATELY!!!
      But take heart….In the end of this novel, someone escapes to “elsewhere” & the end of the book is highly symbolic of a birth/rebirth into faith/Christianity, individuality, & human compassion/love….of the understanding within scripture that God said, “I knew you before you were born…..down to the hairs on your head…..” bottom line is…those who seek to give all & take all—will ALWAYS lose against individual conscience/ ability/intellect. The problem is…there’s one born every generation who THINKS HE is the be-all -to-end-all & has the right, the ability, & the smarts to run life for ALLL his fellows….& if they refuse to allow it….they will be damned to punishement or death……THese pontificating college trustees/faculty are cogs in that very system of thougnt….(useful idiots/mouthpieces who will be discarded after their “work” is done…) They NEVER see that they are the instruments of their OWN eventual demise!!!! What’s that saying about…”if you don’t know history, you will be doomed to repeat it?????”
      If you’ve never read this book, give it a try…if you’ve already read it….read it again with NEW EYES, keeping in mind what is happening to us today.

  5. This sums up for me that a certain percentage of incompetent college graduates will be released into the professional workforce. That is scary and could easily have deadly consequences. God help us. Has most of the Country lost its mind? Wake up America.

  6. Son of the Rabbit People

    The plan is to incorporate incompetent boobs into as many critical aspects of our society as possible. We are farther along on this path than you may think. Take as an example the incompetent boobs in our nation’s capitol…

  7. And in order to “countermand” these goings on, smart people will “shop” for candidates to fill their employment vacancies from those who did not attend a university which has dabbled in this kind of nonsense. Let’s say, when shopping for a doctor, people just might be persuaded to stay away from types that would qualify for the favoritism brought about by this diversity scam. I have had several black female physicians, and thank God–they were the very best that I could have possibly found on the face of the earth. When you really think about this, it’s just down right scary . . . and it shows the thief of natural achievement by those who bust their fannies working hard! This is just a crime.

  8. If I was an employer & some so called “minority” come to me seeking a position within my company & has a University of Wisconsin diploma with “honour”. Then I will assume maybe wrongly, but still assume that this diploma is equivalent to toilet paper. The real graduate who worked & stdy hard to pass, will be the real victims. But maybe it is right to take some privileges from the privileged group. I’m sure that the Trotskyist scum/psychos will agree with the latter!

  9. Reblogged this on The Grey Enigma.

  10. Universities and their degrees are on their way out the door, if everyone can get one, why pay for one with your precious time and money. What will rise is internships, just like in the past were people learned on the job so to speak. With the cost of Colleges and Universities everyone must know this is about money. The schools longer care if you can read or write or get a job with the degree, all they really care about is if you are a “Degree seeking student” and therefore qualify for loans to be paid to the school.
    it’s always about money and how to get more money, greed knows no limits.
    Go to the site Confessions of a College Professor it is for some real eye opening information on this topic. Good luck to us all.

  11. Goodness. Where to start. Is this a way to cover the professor’s rear for imcompetence in teaching? When you have 30 students all taking the same test, where and how does all this other gobble gook fit in?
    What happened to the most deserving getting their just credit without penalty? Is this anger version of dumbing down?
    Seems like a whole lot of waste of time and money.
    To be fair to all, perhaps before each test, everyone draws a number and that is the “name” of the student. It would help keep the professor honest.
    Everyday you read something so ridiculous coming out of schools and colleges, I would hesitate sending our children to one now.

  12. This is just a product of a system that was designed to fail. Dewey and other founders of “public education” long ago wrote of their evil intent.
    This seems like a good time to echo what has already been said… lets try to get Good Christian (legitimate Christian folk) into our local offices and local places of power.
    As for the “university” all I can say is that the “diversity” thing is a canard, Sig94 is quite correct, this is intended to debilitate and further break the system, and the people it churns out.

  13. About 15 years ago, as a member of management for a fortune 500 company, I was required to attend a 4 hr diversity training class. The instructor was a flaming liberal. As the end of the class approached it was time for questions and answers. My only question was, ” So there are some cultures where the males treat their goats better than their women and if the men are displeased with their wife they can physically abuse her. Let me get this right. You want me to be OK with that?” There was no answer, just dead silence.

  14. Richard Raymond

    Destruction of Western Civilization through multiculturalism, diversity, affimative action, reverse racism, reverse sexism ect……. and the Marxist
    Cultural Revolution rolls on after 50 years. What are kids going to be left
    with? Do the Baby Boomers care?

    • Today’s generation (iY) doesn’t care. They’ve been educated about “fairness” and “diversity” and believe that is best for society (and government is the perfect solution to solve those problems, i.e., give me free birth control). They “care” yet are just “slack-tivists” (if it seems cool then get on the bandwagon, but don’t really do anything except tweet a hashtag or complain about it on a blog). They care more about their own social media appendage (can’t live without their Tumblr, Twitter, and FB accounts) and will be left in a stupor depression if they don’t have the latest and greatest games.
      Hard to change a generation that is self-absorbed and lacks the necessary maturity to free themselves of the ingrained entitlement syndrome.

  15. Common Core for college…on steroids. It’s not color blind, its color brave!! Whatever that means!!

  16. This sounds like Communism to me; pure and simple. Look at the Cultural Revolution in China where educated people were jailed or sent to the country side to be “rehabilitated”. The protest against Roger Clegg is very reminiscent of the public humiliation and shaming of educated people endured in China at that time. Or simply, some one speaking the truth. It is milder, but then our government can’t openly declare their new Communist agenda.

    • You are so right, Emily!
      During the Cultural Revolution, the godlike Mao Zedong (extolled as “The never-setting red sun in our hearts”) even singled out one particular young man for praise — for turning in his exam with no answers but a BLANK page.

  17. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this excellent post. I so enjoyed reading Dr. Hansen’s article, wherein he is not afraid to set forth the idiocy and stupidity of this university “policy”. Not only is this policy unjust, it is unenforceable because it is ludicrous. And clearly, it demonstrates the choice of being lukewarm, which is sickening.

  18. Pingback: Can you guess what classes Harvard and other universities are now providing to their students? |

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