“Diversity”—a word meaning “difference” has been coopted for political purposes. Environmentalism religion zealots use it as one of their icons to encourage worship of the natural, man-free environment.
Social justice promoters offer it to presumed victims of injustices as a weak crutch to support feelings of importance by members of selected groups. The politics of diversity is practiced to an unhealthy degree at our universities. It is costly, silly and destructive to human relations.
Duke Cheston, writing in the August 2012 issue of the Carolina Journal, reports from the Pope Center for Higher Education that some units of the University of North Carolina continue to expand racial and ethnicity diversity programs (gender and sexual orientation programs were not included, but are also contentious) despite complaints of “layoffs, repeated tuition hikes, and few raises.” (link; pg. 17)
These political projects usurp funds from the legitimate mission of the academy. In my opinion, they are counterproductive (and counterintuitive) in educational institutions. They waste money on staff and facilities. They propagandize and distort cultural issues. And they result in segregation and divisiveness between students.
Here in Wilmington the UNC has added another employee to make an even dozen people who occupy a Diversity Office. These social projects throughout the UNC system cost students and taxpayers “about $4 million per year for salaries alone,” according to Mr. Cheston’s article.
The University of North Carolina has other non-academia activities that should be eliminated to save money, but divisive “diversity” projects should be defunded by a responsible state legislature not just to save money, but also in the interest of improving relationships within the student bodies.
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