I’ve told the story a dozen times, but allow me to bore you with it once more for the sake of new readers, and for emphasizing the story below.
The last—and final—time I interviewed for a university professorship, was in a math department. I flew through the interview fine. Until the last question, asked of me by two mathematicians: “Were you ever involved in any diversity initiatives?”
This was like asking a steakhouse owner if he had ever been involved in any vegan initiatives.
Any employment in any western university is, for me, thus impossible. To be fair, I not only loathe the god Diversity, but just one week’s Insanity & Doom installment is enough to torpedo my chances. Not that I’d want to voluntary place myself among the heathen, thank you very much.
Mathematicians can no longer hide behind their theorems. The Diversity Thought Police are after them. The story is mathematicians at UCLA “have to pledge in writing a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity.”
In fact, all professors applying for a tenure-track position at UCLA must write a statement on their commitment to diversity, showing, for example, their “record of success advising women and minority graduate students,” according to the UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
Such mandated statements reflect a push by college bureaucrats “to ratchet up the requirements” to achieve more diverse campuses, said Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars. Until recently, diversity programs tended to focus on mandatory training and sanctions for policy violators.
Now “you have to make a public confession of faith,” said Wood. “You’re essentially citing a creed,” and “all the more effectively, they force you to put that creed into your own words.”
I’m not against statements of faith and oaths of fealty, mind you. I am against putting incense into the fire to worship false gods. And there are no more false gods than Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The Triumvirate of Evil. The three-headed gatekeeper of Hell.
It’s not only UCLA: “UC Riverside, UC San Diego, and UC Berkeley all require such statements. UC Santa Cruz requires them for candidates for faculty Senate positions.”
The written pledges are used to “identify candidates who have the professional skills, experience, and/or willingness to engage activities that will advance our campus diversity and equity goals,” said Judy Piercey, senior director of strategic communications at UC San Diego.
There are big incentives to achieving tenure. Not only do tenured professors typically make tens of thousands of dollars more annually than their non-tenured colleagues (full professors can make more than twice as much as instructors and lecturers) but they cannot be fired except in the most extraordinary cases.
Judy girl there nails it: willingness to engage activities that will advance our campus diversity and equity goals. This isn’t so much a pinch of incense, but the requirement of routine shovelfuls.
Now it is obvious to any non-university employee that goals of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are the opposite of the goals of mathematics. Mathematics is unequal, non-diverse, and exclusive to the nth degree. It’s hard.
Well, we all know that.
Wood says “Most will probably regard the requirement as no big deal and write a statement”. They’ll think their complicity is nothing; besides, what’s a little Equality, Diversity & Inclusion? They’ll still be able to work, right?
Do you really think it will stop with some dumb statement?
UC Merced sociologist Tanya Golash-Boza advises professors, “Do not write a throwaway diversity statement.” In her experience, job candidates’ diversity statement are “scrutinized.” Strong statements reflected candidates’ “experiences teaching first-generation college students, their involvement with LGBTQ student groups, their experiences teaching in inner-city high schools and their awareness of how systematic inequalities affect students’ ability to excel.”
Scrutinized, as in the less able mathematicians are preferred over the more ideological one. And just what does LGBTQWERTY have to do with proving theorems? Nothing is no longer an acceptable answer. The identity of the person making a claim carries more weight than truth.
Mathematicians, like every other field, had better start handing out awards, editorships, positions, perks, and whatnot to official victims, and they had better do it fast. Of course, doing so it slitting their own throat, but only slowly. Because the more Equal, Diverse, and Inclusive a department becomes, for the sake Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity, the worse it becomes.
So hurry and create new categories of awards, and even redefines what “good” mathematics is. Or you can find yourself out beyond the gate. Bit-by-bit compromise is better than speaking out and losing your job all at once.