Thursday, May 03, 2007

Faculty Hiring Priorities

After subject matter competence, which should be the next criterion on which potential faculty are hired--disciplinary subfield specialization, or "diversity"?

You can tell by the "scare quotes" how I'd answer the question.

This issue has arisen at Colgate University, and there's a great post on the subject over at The Volokh Conspiracy. At least as enlightening as that post, however, are the comments afterward.

3 comments:

Ellen K said...

And people wonder why our nation seems so bogged down by intellectual and educational mediocrity. If you only hire in order to fill a quota, without having at least some cursory regard for credentials, then you end up with bland, middle ground scholars promoting agendas which they really don't understand, although they will swear blind allegiance to those agendas.

curious said...

Can someone please explain to me the leftist's obsession with skin color? I am a southerner, I grew up in the deep south, my parents and pretty much everyone they knew were segregationists. Sometime in the '60s or '70s I'm not certain about the date, but most everyone I know stopped worrying about segregation and skin color. I don't actually know anyone who I would consider is a racist anymore.

But, these leftists who claim so loudly not to be racist practice the worst form of racism I have ever seen.

When they claim that the only way their university can have a diversity of ideas is if they have a diversity of skin color they show themselves to be true bigots.

I would guess that the reason the school cannot keep "diverse" professors, whatever in the hell that means, is because bigotry is not easily vieled. If the hiring practices are so blatantly bigoted, perhaps other attitudes are as well. And perhaps it is the bigoted atmosphere that keeps the "diverse" professors from wanting to stay.

I work in the IT field, and when we are looking to hire someone, we only care about one thing - can the person cut the mustard at the keyboard. The candidate could be blue with red stripes and no one would notice or care. The projects that I work on look like a U.N. meeting most of the time.

Here's a concept. Maybe the university could start PRACTICING true diversity, you know what Rev. King said something about a person's character and not the color of their skin as being what is important, then maybe they won't keep having this problem in attracting people of all walks of life to their school.

Ellen K said...

It's funny that you say that. My parents too were of the old school South. But I went to school with kids of all colors, because in the west Texas oil patch, that is just the way it was. When we were transferred to Chicago, my mother helped another lady from Texas move into their apartment. That family happened to be African American. For that, we were labeled and treated like outcasts. Yet folks up north like to think they have some sort of moral superiority, until a kid of a different color shows up at their kids' school. One of the most liberal people I know, moved from an inner city neighborhood when she discovered her kids would be in the minority. They moved to the most homogeneous whitebread suburb they could find. My kids went to school with people from all backgrounds-which is why I chose public schools. I think that many of the old up east universities take their cues from the more liberal political platforms in order to appear cutting edge. What they really are is racist. I wonder if they assume all Asians are good at math? Or that white boys can't jump? Or that redheads have bad tempers? It's just more self-congratulatory liberalism at its finest.