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University of California’s Insane Politically Correct Spending

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On May 10, 2013 @ 11:21 am In The Point | 4 Comments

Heather Mac Donald’s entire article about the University of California’s descent into PC insanity is well worth the read. A sample…

Every three years, representatives from departmental hiring committees at UCLA must attend a seminar on “unconscious bias” in order to be deemed fit for making hiring decisions.

But the insane spending decisions she chronicles, at a time of fiscal austerity, are worth highlighting.

The behemoth Office of the President should be put on a starvation diet. With a budget of well over a quarter-billion dollars and a staff of more than 1,500 people, it is the equivalent of a small college—without faculty or students. It “absorbs a staggering amount of money,” says UCLA astronomer Matt Malkan, “but no one can figure out what it actually does except consume the research overheads from our grants.”

Currently, one-third of all tuition supports financial aid. This cross-subsidy drives up the price for those paying their own way

In September 2012, for instance, as the university system faced the threat of another $250 million in state funding cuts on top of the $1 billion lost since 2007, UC San Diego hired its first vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion. This new diversocrat would pull in a starting salary of $250,000, plus a relocation allowance of $60,000, a temporary housing allowance of $13,500, and the reimbursement of all moving expenses. (A pricey but appropriately “diverse” female-owned executive search firm had found this latest diversity accretion.)

In May 2011, UCLA named a professional bureaucrat with a master’s degree in student-affairs administration as its first assistant dean for “campus climate,” tasked with “maintaining the campus as a safe, welcoming, respectful place,” in the words of UCLA’s assistant vice chancellor and dean of students. In December 2010, UC San Francisco appointed its first vice chancellor of diversity and outreach—with a starting salary of $270,000—to create a “diverse and inclusive environment.”…

In 2010, as a $637 million cut in state funding closed some facilities temporarily and forced UC faculty and staff to take up to three and a half weeks of unpaid leave, Mark Yudof, the president of the entire university system, announced the formation of a presidential Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion. It would be supported by five working groups of faculty and administrators: the Faculty Diversity Working Group, the Diversity Structure Group, the Safety and Engagement Group, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Group, and the Metrics and Assessment Group…

.In September 2012, even as he warned of financial ruin if voters didn’t approve Governor Jerry Brown’s $6 billion tax hike in November, Yudof announced another diversity boondoggle. The university was embarking on the nation’s largest-ever survey of “campus climate,” at a cost of $662,000 (enough to cover four years of tuition for more than a dozen undergraduates).

…Yudof’s office tried to boost participation rates in the latest “inclusion survey” by raffling off two $5,000 faculty-research grants, two $5,000 graduate-student stipends, and a $10,000 student scholarship to respondents answering merely half of the survey questions. (Whether such a raffle is the most rational way to allocate scarce research and scholarship dollars is debatable.) Yudof also offered a shot at five $2,000 professional-development grants and 24 iPads. Campuses threw in their own incentives: UC San Francisco provided ten lucky raffle winners the opportunity to have lunch with the local vice chancellor for diversity and outreach and handed out 50 gift certificates worth $50 apiece; UC San Diego offered iPads, iPod Touch music players, cash, and restaurant gift certificates, among other goodies. Despite these sweeteners, most people ignored the survey.

…Take UC’s vice president for student affairs, Judy Sakaki, who has traveled a career path typical of the “support-services” administrator, untouched by any traditional academic expertise or teaching experience. Sakaki started as an outreach and retention counselor in the Educational Opportunity Program at California State University, Hayward, and then became special assistant to the president for educational equity. She moved to UC Davis as vice chancellor of the division of student affairs and eventually landed in the UC president’s office, where, according to her official biography, she continues to pursue her decades-long involvement in “issues of access and equity.” She earns more than $255,000 a year.

…Sakaki has dozens of counterparts on individual campuses. UCLA’s $300 million Division of Undergraduate Affairs, with nary a professor in sight, is a typical support-services accretion, stuffed with “retention” specialists and initiatives for “advancing student engagement in diversity.”

…In 2011, Berkeley’s $200,000-a-year vice chancellor for equity and inclusion presided over an already princely staff of 17; by 2012, his realm had ballooned to 24. In September 2012, UC San Francisco’s vice chancellor of diversity and outreach opened a new Multicultural Resource Center, complete with its own staff, timed to coincide with Celebrate Diversity Month…

In September 2012, UC San Diego chancellor Pradeep Khosla announced that every employee would get two hours of paid leave to celebrate California Native American Day, a gesture that, under the most conservative salary assumptions, could cost well over $1 million.In the same month, the vice provost of UCLA’s four ethnic studies departments announced that five professors would get paid leave to pursue “transformative interdisciplinary research” regarding “intersectional exchanges and cultural fusion”—at a time when the loss of faculty through attrition has led to more crowded classrooms and fewer course offerings…

.In August 2012, UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education announced that it would create the “National Dream University,” an online school exclusively for illegal aliens, where they would become involved in “social justice movements” and learn about labor organizing.

That project was cancelled, but seems likely to make a comeback if amnesty fails.


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