Virginia Tech Reasserts 'Diversity' Folly: Part 2

Peter Wood

‘Tis the season. A winter storm has blanketed the east coast. Christmas is almost upon us. And we are in a gift-giving mood. This year we are giving—candy canes? Kindles? Cashmere scarves? Cash? No, no, no, no. This year we are giving you the gift you can never exchange: Diversity! 
Diversity may seem to be the fruitcake that is passed down from year to year, re-gifted as an eternalized shrine to inedibility from the time way back when Uncle Powell first baked (or Bakke’d) it in 1978. Is there anything new to add besides a fresh ribbon and an up-to-date gift tag? 
Of course there is! This year we offer the first fully annotated Diversity!
What follows actually has a very serious purpose. We have taken a planning document from a prominent public university and marked it up to highlight the deceptions, self-contradiction, and self-serving ploys with which it is stuffed, fatter than a Christmas goose. We know it wasn’t part of your holiday plans to sit down to a tasty meal of 11,000 words of bureaucratic pomposity seasoned with NAS’s piquant spices. But try it. 
If you only have time to skim it, look for these themes:
  •  Who’s in charge?   Diversity seems more and more a legacy that a rather marginal group of academics and administrators who are determined to pass along to reluctant heirs. 
  •  How does higher ed propagate ideas?  If you thought by reasoned argument and careful sifting of evidence, think again.
  •  Bait and switch? Diversity promotion these days typically begins with a summons to a feast of togetherness, but turns pretty quickly to a division of the spoils.
  •  What does it take to get people on board? Diversity is no longer a battle of ideas but a system of incentives and punishments. 
The document that we have “fisked” for your holiday edification is Virginia Tech’s “Strategic Diversity Plan.”   If you have never visited Blacksburg and cannot tell a Hokie from a hoagie (or a Billiken), don’t worry. This exercise isn’t really about Virginia Tech. It is about the self-serving, ideologically-minded, academic doxologists who dominate contemporary higher education. 
We often complain about the results: the dumbed-down curricula; the PC attitudinizing that subs for clear thinking on campus; the unfair finagling of financial aid, admissions, and academic appointments; the stupefying mandatory workshops; Plato’s cave of ignorance turned into a playground complete with rock-climbing walls, and on and on. Our Christmas offering is a look behind the scenes. How does a university convince itself that the worse is better? Where does it find the ladder to descend into the hot tub of honking nonsense?  Read on.
Click here to download the fisked document as a searchable, printable PDF file, or scroll down to read it below. Our comments are in irenic blue. Click here to download the original (unmarked) CLAHS Strategic Diversity Plan.
* * *
[This is Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s (Virginia Tech’s) College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, one of the University’s nine component colleges. Virginia Tech’s undergraduate engineering, business, architecture and landscape programs are highly ranked. Its liberal arts programs are not. Status envy may have something to do with the strange overreaching evident in CLAHS’s ambitions to make a name for itself in promoting “diversity.” If it cannot make a name for itself though academic excellence, why not change the subject?] 
COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND HUMAN SCIENCES  
STRATEGIC DIVERSITY PLAN  
December 1, 2009 
[The release date is not accompanied by any notation indicating this is a draft. We believe this is meant to be the official document. On page 4 of the document, the committee summarizes its deliberations including an earlier draft that was vetted with the College Diversity Committee and refers to the current document as a “plan” that awaits final approval. It’s not clear what bureaucratic hurtles remain for that approval or when it is likely to be granted.]  
Peggy S. Meszaros, Chair
[She is Professor of Human Development and the Director of the Center for Information Technology Impacts on Children, Youth and Families. Her recent academic work focuses on “self-authorship,” and she has written a book, Self-authorship: Advancing Students’ Intellectual Growth (2007). She has also received six research grants focusing on why boys and girls smoke tobacco in rural Virginia. She has also pursued funded research on women in information technology, campus diversity, and “information technology extension services.” We’re not sure what “self-authorship” is, but it probably is not “how to write your memoir,” or advice on avoiding plagiarism. More likely it means making decisions for yourself about who you want to be. Keep in mind that the “diversity” doctrine promotes the exact opposite: it pushes people to accept that the most important part of their identities derives from group membership in which those important decisions about personal identity are largely co-opted by people like…well, like Professor Meszaros.] 
Mido Chang
[She is assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies in the School of Education. The Virginia Tech website helpfully explains, “Her research includes nonparametric multilevel models, comprising non-linear and small samples; nonlinear growth curve models, covering multiple waves of growth trajectory; and nonparametric maximum likelihood estimation methods, incorporating non-normality and heterogeneity of variances in multilevel analysis. She applies the statistical models to explore educational policy issues…”]
Jean Elliott
[She works in University Relations as a College Communications Manager. Her name frequently appears as the author on University press releases.]  
April Few
[She is an associate professor of Human Development. She lists her primary academic interests as adolescent sexuality, intimate violence, family diversity, feminism and family studies, and racial/ethnic identity. One of her current projects is titled “Black Dating and Sexual Scripts,” and deals with “Black college student experiences with dating violence, mate selection and dating/sexual behaviors” at four southeastern universities.   She is the co-author of Handbook of Feminist Family Studies (2009).] 
Rachel Holloway
[Associate dean of undergraduate academic affairs. She has taught undergraduate courses in “public relations principles, campaigns, and issue management” and graduate courses in “communication theory.”  She has published articles on “The Clintons and the Health Care Crisis” and various aspects of health care promotion.] 
Michelle Kim
[We cannot positively identify Michelle. There is a staff writer for the Cavalier Daily, the Virginia Tech student newspaper, by that name. There is also Minjeong Kim, a recent appointed assistant professor in the Sociology Department, who teaches “Introduction to Women’s Studies” and “Global Feminism,” and, according to the Women’s Studies Program, “will soon be developing a new course on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) identities. That page also explains, “Her current research investigates the migration and settlement processes of Filipina marriage migrants in South Korean rural communities and examines how capitalist patriarchal ideologies shape international marriage migration.”]
David McKee
[He is an instructor in the Department of Music, director of the Marching Virginians., and a percussionist.  He took his marching band to the 2008 FedEx Orange Bowl in Miami. He also conducts the University Symphony Band and Campus Band.] 
Rick Shingles
[Richard Shingles is an associate professor of political science and a Virginia Tech “Multicultural Fellow.” According to his department, “His research focuses is on the politics of race, ethnicity, gender and class.” His writings include a journal article on “Black Consciousness and Political Participation: the Missing Link," and a book-in-progress, Aztlán Lost: The Legacy of Conquest and Race for Mexican-Americans and Other Colonized Minorities. He has served on the CLAHS Diversity Committee, helped to organize the Multicultural Fellows, serves on the advisory board o f the Undergraduate Diversity Certificate, and helping to design a “Diversity Competency Initiative” for faculty members.] 
Fred Piercy—Ex Officio
[Associate dean for graduate studies and research, and professor of family therapy in the department of human development. He was also Professor Meszaros’ collaborator on several research grants and a co-author with April Few of “Balancing the passion for activism with the demands of tenure: One professional's story from three perspectives.” National Women's Studies Association Journal, 19 (3), 47-66.]
Debra Stoudt—Ex Officio
[She is the associate dean for academic policies & procedures. She is also professor of German and Co-coordinator of the German Program in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. We have not found a record of her scholarship, but this fall she gave a talk, “Mystics & Witches: Women on the Margins of the Sacred & the Secular.” We commented here on her March 2009 email in which she enunciated the coming Promotion and tenure Guidelines that would make CLAHS faculty members seeking promotion or tenure responsible for demonstrating their contributions to diversity. Professor Stoudt was hired to her administrative position by the dean of CLAHS, Sue Ott Rowlands, in 2008, at roughly the same time as Ott Rowlands promoted Fred Piercy. Dean Ott Rowlands’ name is not on this document, but her fingerprints are. For more on her not-so-illustrious career, see our April report, and scroll to “Dean Who?”
The committee that drafted the “Strategic Diversity Plan” didn’t lack for people who have a vested interest in advancing the “diversity” doctrine.  Among the eight members and two ex officio members, however, we fail to see anyone who appears able to speak with authority either to criticisms of the diversity doctrine or to the larger purposes of unbiased scholarly inquiry with which the diversity doctrine is frequently at odds. Perhaps that was the supposed role of the leader of the marching band.

Surely these are all well-meaning people but it is hard not to notice a certain lack of intellectual gravitas on the committee. It is a committee weighted toward advocacy and aimed at executing a pre-determined outcome.]  

Table of Contents  
Introduction
Access and Success
Education and Scholarship
Campus Climate and Intergroup Relationships
Institutional Infrastructure              
Introduction
 
The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences welcomes and values diversity in curriculum, academic programs, people and activities. Our faculty, staff and students recognize that diversity enriches educational and professional lives, and we seek to enhance the ways in which we relate to all people. [These are bland pronouncements that could mean almost anything. “Diversity” is a three-card Monte game. The trick is to catch the dealer at the point where he swaps out the splendidly vague ideal of encompassing diversity for the race card or the gritty reality of special-deals-for-groups-we-like.] Our commitment to diversity is grounded in the Virginia Tech Principles of Community and our own College definition of diversity:
 
We, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Diversity Committee, use the term “diversity” to mean the desirability and value of many kinds of individual differences while at the same time acknowledging and respecting that socially constructed difference based on certain characteristics exist within systems of power that create and sustain inequality, hierarchy, and privilege. 1] The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences is determined to eliminate these forms of inequality, hierarchy, and privilege in our programs and practices. In this sense, diversity is to be actively advanced because it fosters excellence in learning, discovery, and engagement. [We commented on this definition in Part 1]
 
The College affirms the following commitments to diversity:
 
To enhance the quality of life of individuals and families across the lifespan by creating and maintaining a body of students, faculty and staff that reflects the cultural diversity of the state of Virginia and the national population. [Note that someone has to decide what counts as “cultural diversity” and what doesn’t. Behind this seemingly open-minded commitment lies the implication that there will be an elite who can make these decisions and do so without favoritism. Diversity in this sense is almost always a job creation program for people who claim expertise in running the racial, ethnic, and victim-group spoils system. But note too that colleges and universities exist to educate students, not to undertake the un-limitable goal “to enhance the quality of life” of people across the generations. Education ideally does enhance the quality of life, but there is philosophical confusion in starting with the indirect outcome and ignoring the main task. Finally, the committee in drafting this sentence attempts to by-pass any consideration at all of the debate whether universities, including public universities, have some special obligation to “reflect” demographic realities. The Strategic Diversity Plan is written from the perspective that that debate is irrelevant and the committee is going to get on with the business of how best to accomplish the racial, ethnic, and victim group gerrymandering.]
 
To create opportunities for intellectual stimulation which is derived from an appreciation of multiple perspectives that are brought to the center and are allowed to flourish with a diverse community of students, faculty and staff.  [This is pretty much Justice Powell’s speculative rationalization for racial preferences laid out in his stand-alone opinion in the 1978 Bakke decision. Thirty some years later, we can add this: three decades of efforts by diversiphiles to find solid evidence that the “appreciation of multiple perspectives” flows directly or indirectly from racial preferences has come up with nothing that has passed the test of mainstream academic scrutiny. We too think that students learn best when they have to wrestle with multiple perspectives. It seems odd that the committee doesn’t apply that ideal to its own work—or to the needs of Virginia Tech students who deserve better than to be subjected to curriculum that factors out any perspective other than the politicized advocacy of diversity.]
 
To build an infrastructure that promotes representation from underrepresented groups in decision-making processes across the curriculum and administrative affairs of the College.  [Again, building and maintaining that infrastructure means lots of jobs for diversiphiles. Letting diversity happen by removing barriers is one thing; forcing it to grow on an elaborate trellis of a pre-determined shape is something else entirely. It is pretty clear that the Committee envisages the latter. But let’s be careful with our terms. “Removing barriers” is wholesome if there really are barriers. These days, diversiphiles often conjure up so-called barriers out of almost anything, including lack of ability and lack of ambition. No institution can remove those barriers. If there is a cultural dimension to them, it is the culture that needs to be reformed, not the educational institution.]
 
To foster a supportive forum which channels and rewards internal and external collaborative initiatives and partnerships that recognize interlocking systems of race, class, gender and age in our discovery, learning and engagement agendas. [Interlocking! Systems! Interlocking systems! Interlocking systems of race, class, gender and age! Engagement agendas! What a feast of language we have here. There is something mesmerizing about this roll call of buzzwords, furiously announcing its own importance. Does mentioning “interlocking systems” make this an accurate description of how race, class, gender and age actually correspond to one another in American life? And does that roll call exhaust or even come close to representing the richness of cultural and social life for Americans? We think not, but the Committee seems to regard the matter as settled from the outset. Perhaps the committee is trapped in its own interlocking system: an ideological clique in love with its fashionable scorn for American society.]
 
We believe that efforts to promote and sustain diversity in the College must be directed toward three key elements: people (students, faculty and staff), academic programs and curriculum, and campus climate. Before we can set goals for where we want to go, we must understand where we are. Our work began by assessing demographic information about the faculty, staff and students in the College. 
 
[Remember the three card Monte game? Here is where the grand general ideal of diversity gets swapped out for the race and ethnicity card. Diversity at this point is reduced to three lines: Black, Hispanic, and Asian.] Trends in enrollment of the three largest student minorities in the College - African Americans, Hispanics and Asians - were showing gains prior to 2004. The steady gains in African American enrollment before 2004 and steady losses after indicate a nonrandom series, which likely has one or more causes. It may be that the action taken by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors to ban Affirmative Action at Virginia Tech during AY 2002-2003 influenced African American public opinion with the resulting effect that Virginia Tech does not offer a welcoming environment for African-Americans. [Wow! Bad Board of Visitors! Bad, bad Board of Visitors! How dare you get in the way of our racial spoils system! Go visit someone else.]  
 
The time series for ethnic/racial minorities for CLAHS faculty for the years 2000-2007 reveal a similar pattern for African American faculty as found for undergraduates. There was a slight increase in African American faculty of about 2% between 2000 and 2005 to a peak of 8%, followed by a 1% decline to 7% in 2007. This is in contrast with a 1% increase in Asian faculty after 2005 and a 1% increase in Hispanic faculty between 2003 and 2006. The decrease in African American faculty followed shortly after the decrease in African American student enrollment; the BOV interference with Affirmative Action policies was likely among the possible causes of African American faculty decline. [Again, bad Board of Visitors! But just wait and see how we’ll get around you.] 
 
Table 1: Student Financial Needs for AY 2008-092
Average of GRS NEED   No. of Students with Need Average Financial Need Average Unmet Need 
 
% of Unmet Need
 
Graduate
 
American Indian/Alaska Native
5
 
16,607
 
4,553
 
27.4%
 
 
Asian/Pacific Islander
9
 
16,244
 
7,549
 
46.5%
  African American 79
 
14,854
 
2,849
19.2%
  Caucasian  358  
 
16,382
 
 
5,364
 
 
32.7%
  Hispanic  15  
 
13,485
 
 
4,772
 35.4%
  Unknown  7  
 
19,416
 
 
9,746
 50.2%
GR Total    473  
 
16,080
 
 
5,023
 
 
31.2%
Undergraduate  
 
American Indian/Alaska Native
 6  
 
13,875
 
 
3,235
 23.3%
  Asian/Pacific Islander  72   
 
12,423
 
 
3,440
 27.7%
  African American  125  
 
16,362
 
 
2,998
 18.3%
  Caucasian  923  
 
11,999
 
 
3,643
 30.4%
  Hispanic  53  
 
15,047
 
 
4,534
 30.1%
  Unknown  101  
 
11,909
 
 
3,425
 28.8%
UG Total    
 
1,280
 
 
12,576
 
 
3,586
 28.5%
Grand Total    
 
1,753
 
 
13,522
 
 
3,974
 29.4%
 2Source: University Scholarships & Financial Aid. 
 
The average unmet financial need at both the graduate and undergraduate levels is approximately 30%. Among graduate students the Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics have the largest unmet needs. This reflects that these two groups are disproportionately international students and pay out-of-state tuition. At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, African Americans have the lowest unmet financial needs. This may be due to much lower household incomes which qualify students for Pell Grants that pay a greater proportion of their financial needs. [“May be due?” On its face, the difference between the unmet needs of African American students (both undergraduate and graduate) and all other groups is statistically huge. One would think the committee would want to understand this discrepancy, but it contents itself with a throw-away conjecture. Note that Asians are the worst off graduate students in unmet financial need (46.5% of their financial need is unmet compared to only 19.2% for African American graduate students) and Caucasians are the worst-off undergraduates (30.4% of their financial need is unmet compared to only 18.3% for African American graduate students). If we are free to offer a conjecture as has the committee, we’d suggest that this is prima facie evidence of racial discrimination on the part of the University. Major lawsuits have been pursued and won on far less evidence of racial discrimination.]
 
In addition to examining college trends, we studied Diversity Reports from the top 15 National Science Foundation (NSF) ranked universities, reports and plans from each department in the College, the Virginia Tech Diversity Strategic Plan for 2008-2012, the Virginia Tech Task Force on Race and the Institution, the Implementation Team Report on Race and the Institution and Dean Ott Rowlands’ April 2008 State of the College Address regarding diversity. The Diversity Strategic Plan Committee met five times as a committee of the whole, with sub-committee meetings convened numerous additional times to construct objectives,strategies, practices and measures in keeping with the University Diversity Strategic Plan. A draft plan was shared with the College Diversity Committee for feedback. The plan that follows contains our best thinking for strategic diversity directions at this time. After discussion with departments and final approval, we recommend that an implementation plan that contains a timeline and responsibility assignments be established. 
 
Successful diversity strategies are those which promote long-term change in attitudes and culture, resulting in institutional change leading to greater diversity, opportunity, and excellence. It is our hope that this strategic diversity plan for the College will lead us in a positive direction in the years to come.
 
Access and Success
 
 
Goal:   Increase and retain diverse undergraduate and graduate students.
 
Objective 1: The College will facilitate access at the undergraduate level with the intent to increase the compositional diversity of the CLAHS undergraduate student body. [Access: a key diversity buzzword meaning “let’s find creative ways to enact racial preferences behind everyone’s back.” It’s a friendly word, evoking open doors and free tickets, and it’s generally paired with “success,” as it is here. Note again that the all-encompassing ideal of “diversity” enunciated in the opening paragraph of the Strategic Diversity Plan has by this point disappeared completely in favor of a list of techniques aimed at mere “compositional diversity,” itself a euphemism for race. The strategies and practices below look like a means of going around the Board of Visitors’ ban on affirmative action.]
 
Strategy 1: Evaluate precollege and undergraduate pipeline programs at Virginia Tech and other universities, with the goal of selecting and further developing optimal strategies for the College.
 
Practices:
1. Expand the Virginia Tech Coordinated School Visit Program (VTCSVP) to provide CLAHS faculty with the opportunity to recruit underrepresented high school students.
 
2. Explore developing a recruitment program similar to the Virginia Tech Stars Program that provides opportunities for underrepresented high school students to gain research experience with CLAHS faculty during the summer.
 
3. Develop a limited partnership with Upward Bound and Talent Search to recruit local and in-state underrepresented high school students and to support their efforts to socialize and orient students for college study.
 
4. Collaborate with University Development to lessen the financial burden of underrepresented undergraduates by increasing donor gifts and scholarships.
 
5. Charge the CLAHS Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research to work with the Office of Financial Aid to address unmet financial need of students. [That would be Fred Piercy, the Ex-Officio member of the committee that wrote the Strategic Diversity Plan.]
 
6. Charge the CLAHS Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research to coordinate pipeline initiatives, their implementation and evaluation. [Piercy again.]
 
 Measures:
1.  Periodic departmental diversity reports and plans, which include information on use of pipeline programs and their success in the recruitment of students from underrepresented groups. [Note this makes academic departments devote some of their time and attention to the diversity shuffle. Universities almost never pay attention to the unfunded costs they impose on academic departments. Diversity programs have real costs that are seldom transparent in university budgets.]
 
2. Collaboration between the College and departments with the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) to annually track students identified through pipeline programs with regard to applications, enrollments, graduation rates and, where feasible, subsequent education and careers. [There is something Orwellian about tracking students from the moment they apply to their post-college careers. The information doesn’t benefit these “identified” students but serves as a statistical feather in the university’s diversity cap.]
 
3. Annual assessment of success and barriers in procuring funding for underrepresented students.
 
Objective 2: The College will increase the retention and achievement of excellence of first-generation and underrepresented undergraduate students. [Once under-prepared students have been recruited in the name of “compositional diversity,” what if they can’t cut it academically? To retain these students, the college will apparently single them out (again) for special programs and assessments. “Achievement of excellence” is of course an ideal for all students, but it is hard to see how the college will “increase” achievement of excellence by first-generation and underrepresented students without unfairly diverting resources from everyone else.]
 
Strategy 1: Utilize existing resources to develop innovative programs that encourage students to excel in their majors and acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in either post-graduate employment or further professional training.
 
Practice:
1. Collaborate with the Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program (MAOP) and the Ronald A. McNair Program on their mentoring programs for first-generation and underrepresented students.
 
Measures:
1. Annual assessment of the number of new first-year undergraduates who are first-generation college students from underrepresented groups (to include African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American).
 
2. Development of standardized mentor forms assessing the first semester progress of mentored students.
 
 
[Interesting. “Mentoring” rightly means the close, individual instruction of a student. Mentor in classical mythology was the teacher of Telemachus. The value of mentoring is precisely that it is adapted to the individual and therefore not “standardized.” Here the committee goes full-circle in its zeal to assist struggling students by asserting the need to systematize what by definition can’t be.]
 
3. Assessment of persistence of first-year, first-generation college students.
 
4. Collaboration with the OIR in tracking the number of first-generation and underrepresented undergraduates, their proportion relative to the percent of Virginia high school graduates in the same groups, the proportion who graduate from Virginia Tech, the proportion who graduate within six years, and grade point average in their major.
 
Objective 3: The College will foster the enrollment, retention and success of underrepresented students in graduate education.
 
Strategy 1: Foster interest and socialization of Virginia Tech undergraduates in graduate education.
 
Practices:
1. Promote faculty involvement and sponsorship of participants in the Ronald A. McNair Program (McNair Scholars Program) by tying in involvement with the Undergraduate Research and Prospective Graduate Student Conferences.
 
2. Encourage faculty-directed collaborative research, utilizing the Undergraduate Research Institute, Philologia and the Virginia Tech Undergraduate Research and Prospective Graduate Student Conferences.
 
3. Study the Virginia-North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (VA-NC LSAMP), an NSF program to increase the number of underrepresented graduates who pursue higher education in the STEM disciplines, with the goal of applying lessons learned to the social sciences and humanities. 
 
Measures: 
1. Determination of the number and participation of students from underrepresented groups in the Ronald A. McNair Program, Undergraduate Research Institute, Philologia, Prospective Graduate Student Conference and related programs.
 
2. Collaboration with the OIR and departments to determine by major, race/ethnicity and gender the proportion of underrepresented students who successfully pursue graduate or other professional education.
 
Strategy 2: Attract students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Tribal colleges to Virginia Tech graduate programs to pursue higher education in the College.
 
Practices:
1. Develop and implement articulation agreements between the College and HBCUs, HSIs and Tribal colleges to increase recruitment.
 
2. Promote CLAHS department and faculty involvement in the Virginia Tech Coordinated School Visit Program (VTCSVP) which seeks to recruit competitive graduate students from HBCUs, HSIs and Tribal colleges. 
 
3. Encourage departments to pursue additional collaborations such as a program for visiting professors from HBCUs and attendance at department-sponsored and/or discipline-specific events such as conferences and colloquia.
 
Measures: 
1. Number of faculty who participate in VTCSVP, documented on the VTCSVP website, www.vtcsvp.com. [The committee has seemingly absorbed the lessons of the outcomes assessment movement in higher education. Nothing will be attempted without a corresponding measure of success. The trouble of course is that the measures of success tend to become the actual goals. People naturally strive to maximize the “good news” that they can report. In this case, we can expect that record numbers of faculty members will be reported as participating in VTCSVP.]
 
2. Annual evaluation of the implementation of new and continuing articulation agreements. 
 
3. Identification of students recruited from HBCUs, HSIs and Tribal colleges, and tracking of students’ progress to graduation.
 
Strategy 3: Promote retention and excellence of underrepresented groups in graduate education.
 
Practices:
1. Support development of the first doctoral track in Africana Studies Program in the South. [Is there an identifiable intellectual need for this program? Where will the graduates of it find employment? Once again, it strikes us that the Strategic Diversity Plan offers many suggestions in line with the professional and career interests of diversiphiles, and that this component of self-interest and logrolling is often more conspicuous than the supposed good that would flow to students, taxpayers, or the general community. It’s notable that there is no attempt anywhere in this document to address the conflicts of interest apparent in the profiles of the people who drafted it.]
 
2. Support graduate student research pertaining to diversity through, for example, collaboration with the Race and Social Policy (RSP) Research Center. [More logrolling.]
 
3. Encourage graduate students from underrepresented groups to take advantage of the Graduate Education Development Institute, which fosters professional development. 
 
4. Work closely with the Office of Graduate Recruiting to focus on the unique needs of underrepresented graduate students. [Unique? How so?]
 
5. Identify and nominate underrepresented students to leadership positions, e.g., SGA, BOV. [This seems straightforward subordination of individual merit to identity politics. It also sounds like puppeting students to advance the administration’s agenda.]
 
6. Encourage graduate student participation in mentoring events sponsored by groups such as the Multicultural Academic Opportunities Program, the Black Graduate Student Organization and the Graduate Student Assembly. [Mentoring events? Is this like speed dating? Speed mentoring? “Next.”]
 
7. Encourage departments to identify, compile and distribute a list of external funding opportunities for graduate theses, dissertations, fellowships and assistantships. 
 
Measures:
1. Review of periodic department diversity reports and plans, which include information on available funding opportunities for and efforts to address the unique needs of students from underrepresented groups.
 
2. Creation of departments of readily accessible graduate student records on applications, enrollments, graduation rates, and the subsequent education and careers of underrepresented groups. [What does this mean? Departments of records?]
 
3. Reports from recipients of the Summer Graduate Student Diversity Fellowship that will document their work and will be submitted by the end of the fall semester to the College Diversity Committee, College Diversity Fellow and the Dean.
 
4. Retention and graduation rates by race/ethnicity and gender, compiled with the assistance of OIR.
 
5. Progress of students who benefit from donor gifts and scholarships and those who assume leadership positions.
 
 
 
Education and Scholarship
 
 
[Here’s where it gets really bad.]
Goal: To provide faculty, staff and students with a wide range of opportunities to learn and develop in the areas of equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion.
 
Objective 1:  The College will increase the capacity of faculty and staff in the areas of equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion. [All faculty? Yes, all faculty.]
 
Strategy 1: The College will explore how educational programs and experiences for faculty and staff are being offered to increase their multicultural and diversity competencies and their knowledge of pertinent University policies. [Diversity competencies? Pray tell.]
 
Practices:
1. Collaborate with the OEI to actively participate in the piloting of the University’s Diversity Development Initiative and the provision of Incentive Grants for faculty to incorporate diversity subject matter into their courses. [Hooray for “incentives” as opposed to threats and punishment, and we’re sure Incentive Grants are nothing like bribes…But what happens to those faculty members who teach in areas where “diversity subject matter” is scarce or irrelevant? Not that it’s impossible for the determined diversicrat to invent a diversity angle for almost anything. Virginia Tech, however, might want to consider the sometimes paradoxical results of misplaced incentives. Is it possible that CLAHS courses will increasingly be diluted by the addition of made-to-order diversity digressions?]
 
2. Develop workshops for faculty, staff and administrators, such as “Race, Ethnicity and Gender Challenges in Higher Education.” [We know how popular these are on most campuses. Virginia Tech might be well-advised to put an incentive structure in place here too. Unless they are mandatory, these sorts of workshops can be pretty lonely.]
 
3. Explore the possibility of a graduate certificate in disability studies. [Why?]
 
Measures:
1. Number of faculty and staff taking part in diversity programs. [This is bound to translate into pressure on faculty members to participate in such programs regardless of their personal convictions or the value of the programs themselves.]
 
2. Number of faculty and staff reporting substantive diversity-related accomplishments on annual performance evaluations, FAR evaluations and P&T documents.
[This is the heart of the CLAHS proposal that we criticized in March and April and that President Steger appeared at the time to back away from. “FAR” stands for Faculty Annual Report, and “P&T documents” refers to the Promotion and Tenure dossiers that faculty members must compile. The new phrasing in the Strategic Diversity Plan avoids the earlier language that made the reporting of “diversity accomplishments” mandatory. But the change is purely cosmetic; the stakes are so high for faculty members that very few would dare ignore this seemingly voluntary action. The issue here is one of academic and intellectual freedom. The college is dictating what its faculty members must believe and further insisting that it must act on those beliefs.
 
It’s impossible to doubt the sincerity of the committee members who take the ideal of diversity as an unalloyed good and who individually and severally seem to have no capacity to recognize that diversity as an ideology often runs athwart other deeply held principles. Among the principles that diversity can contravene are the ideal of treating students as individuals; the ideal of academic standards that apply to all equally; the ideal of a higher learning that stands above politics; and the ideal of the integrity of disciplinary knowledge that cannot be compromised to placate someone else’s agenda. 
 
These are not trivial or lightly held concerns in higher education. Because they matter profoundly to many faculty members, people in CLAHS on whom the Strategic Diversity Plan will be imposed will in many cases adopt the silent resistance that people always do in the face of totalitarian regimes: they will outwardly accommodate while inwardly scoffing. The Strategic Diversity Plan in that sense is a recipe for widespread hypocrisy. But there are worse things. Some faculty members (we think the young untenured ones are especially vulnerable) will indeed adapt themselves to the new ideological regime. They will willingly sacrifice their academic freedom to advance their careers. The ultimate losers will be the students of Virginia Tech, including the minority students, who will increasingly be provided a warm bath of ideological reassurance in place of a real education.]
 
Strategy 2: The College will establish and/or continue programs of recognition for those engaged in diversity-related activities.
 
Practices: [These are all incentives to make participation in “diversity” at least desirable if not obligatory for all University employees.]
 
1. The College will recognize exemplary faculty and staff in internal and external communications.
 
2. The College will continue its Diversity Fellow program.
 
3. The College will publicize the Diversity Committee membership.
 
4. The College will continue to oversee the selection and announcement of its Diversity Award.
 
5. The College will promote the Diversity Research Small Grant program. 
 
Measure:
1. Names and number of faculty and staff receiving grants and awards, serving on diversity-related committees, appointed as Diversity or Multicultural Fellows, and participating in other diversity activities.
 
Strategy 3: The College will encourage the Diversity Committee to support key AdvanceVT initiatives dedicated to the recruitment and advancement of women faculty. [This is the first place in the Strategic Diversity Plan where the “advancement of women” is mentioned as a special goal of CLAHS. Strategy 3 gets very little elaboration and seems more or less thrown into this document.]
 
Practice:
1. College faculty will meet with the AdvanceVT team to determine how its programs and opportunities can be applied within the College.
 
Measure:         
1. Number of new initiatives adopted from best practices of AdvanceVT.
 
Strategy 4: The College will coordinate incentive-based opportunities for pedagogical review and course transformation. [The relentless march of the diversiphiles continues. No evidence is offered that either pedagogy or courses stand in need of “transformation” in light of diversity, but incentives will be provided anyway.]
 
Practices:
1. Work with departments to collate information on the extent, nature and quality of diversity subjects currently integrated in existing curriculum. [Having decided on a course of treatment, the doctor must now seek evidence of an ailment.]
 
2. Provide assistance to departments in integrating diversity throughout the curriculum through the support of initiatives such as the College Diversity Grant Program, University Incentive Grants and the use of internal or external diversity consultants. [Note who is driving curricular development. Courses are to be changed not in light of new scholarship but in order to conform to a newly imposed ideological standard. The members of the committee who have proposed this action are not themselves knowledgeable about the many fields of knowledge on which they seek to impose their views, nor are they conspicuous for their own academic accomplishments.]
 
Measures:
1. Diversity Grants and Incentive Grants awarded.
 
2. Departments working with diversity consultants. [Diversity consultants! Interlocking! Systems! Interlocking systems! Interlocking systems diversity consultants! Diversity consultants are one of the delightful scams that emerged in the late 1980s as the result of the moment when the diversity ideology burst its academic bonds and was taken up by the business world. Within the space of two years, we went from a nation that had zero “diversity consultants” to a nation with many thousands of diversity consultants. The tale is well-told in Frederick Lynch’s excellent book The Diversity Machine. The diversity consulting industry seems singularly without actual accomplishment other than to provide employment opportunities to the diversity consultants themselves. It is good to see that this fading fad still has aficionados. It’s a little like discovering a corner of America that continues unabated in its enthusiasm for the hula hoop. We consider this part of the Interlocking System of diversiphilic exploitation of dim-witted college administrators.]
 
3. College Diversity Committee assessment of outcomes of grants and consultations.
 
4. Courses with a focus on diversity and courses that integrate diversity subjects into standard curriculum as determined by periodic department curriculum surveys that will be collated and assessed by a panel comprised of members of the College Diversity Committee. [Interlocking systems! Diversity feeds on diversity.]
 
Strategy 5: The College will inform faculty and staff of work-life policies and monitor the effectiveness of these policies. [We are not exactly sure what “work-life policies” are, but we note that three of the members of the committee hold appointments in Human Development. What Philip Rieff called The Triumph of the Therapeutic is never far beneath the surface in the rhetoric of this committee. Diversity at some level is meant to be a restorative force in the lives of members of the Virginia Tech community.]
 
Practices:
1. Encourage department heads to invite the Director of Family and Work Life Resources to speak at department meetings.
 
2. Distribute work-life policy informational packets to new faculty and staff. Update all faculty and staff periodically regarding new policies.
 
Measure:
1. Reporting by department chairs of efforts made to inform faculty and staff of the University’s work-life policies and resources.
 
Objective 2: Incorporate diversity into College curricula and prepare students for a global, multicultural world to maximize the educational benefits of diversity.
[The “educational benefits of diversity” are purely suppositious. There is no clear evidence that there are any such benefits, despite many years of research by diversiphiles seeking to prove they exist. In recent years some advocates of racial preferences have turned away from the diversity rationale precisely because it seems to remain beyond the reach of genuine social scientific verification. The dissenters believe that the principle of equity is a better and more straightforward basis for including race in college admissions. 
 
 
Virginia Tech, however, takes no notice of such dissent and instead sticks with Justice Powell’s rather moth-eaten speculations. To this they have added an element that Powell did not foresee: the idea that diversity in college somehow prepares students for “a global, multicultural world.” 
 
This is a somewhat newer cliché, one that emerged in the early 1990s but has likewise fallen on hard times. There simply is no evidence that dividing American students up into racial and ethnic categories and granting them certain privileges if they fall into the right categories is good preparation for cutting business deals with factory owners in Shanghai, outsourcing data processing tasks to entrepreneurs in Bangalore, or importing minerals from the Congo, let alone trying to market American goods abroad. We have had earnest studies by researchers attempting to find a bottom-line benefit to companies that embrace the diversity doctrine, who have discovered to their own surprise that the benefits are marginal and the costs substantial. 
 
Again, the CLAHS Strategic Diversity Plan committee takes no notice of these matters and blandly assumes that diversity prepares “students for a global, multicultural world” as though that were a self-evident truth. In reality it is a fraught question just how “global” the world really is and perplexing too how deep “multiculturalism” runs. Much of the Islamic world rejects what the West calls “global.” China has cultural minorities but is overwhelmingly a Han Chinese monoculture that competes for the world’s resources but seems to have little interest in multiculturalizing itself. But these are matters for vigorous scholarly debate and ones in which serious and well-informed observers take strikingly different positions. What’s most notable in the Strategic Diversity Plan is the self-confident ignorance on which the authors take their stand.]
 
Strategy 1 and 2: Explore a requirement within the Curriculum for Liberal Education that addresses issues of race-related and other forms of privilege and disadvantage that will provide additional experiences for students to develop the ability to function in a diverse democracy. [The “Curriculum for Liberal Education” is a university-wide requirement at Virginia Tech. So in this case, the CLAHS committee is recommending something that would extend beyond the CLAHS students to the whole student body. Its suggestion for a universal course requirement that would focus on race-related “privilege and disadvantage” brings to mind the
mischief at the University of Minnesota’s school of education, which is on the verge of adopting a proposal that would, among other things, impose on all education students the study of “white privilege, hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and internalized oppression.” 
 
The proposed CLAHS requirement is tendentious in that:
 
1.      It assumes that the most important aspect of race that is worth teaching in college is its connection to “privilege and disadvantage.”
 
2.      It puts privilege and disadvantage themselves at the center of what the university has to teach about American civilization 
 
These are both views that might well be discussed in the context of a liberal education, but they belong within the larger context of competing views. “Race” is for many a richly positive source of cultural tradition and community. It is for others an unwanted legacy to be overcome. For still others it is a locus of continuing social problems not limited to “privilege and disadvantage.” And “privilege” and “disadvantage” are terms that inevitably narrow the discussion. America is also about freedom, opportunity, equality, and self-determination.]
 
Practices:
1. Use the College Diversity Grant Program to support diversity curriculum development.
 
2. Encourage a College-wide requirement of at least one course that focuses on diversity awareness, knowledge and competencies.
[Diversity competencies? They’ve used the phrase before and always without definition. Our guess is that “diversity competencies” amount to the student’s ability to parrot the ideological clichés that this committee revels in.]
 
3. Expand and further develop Africana Studies with a dedicated cluster hire and the creation of the first doctoral program in Africana Studies in the South. [Again, why? This seems like logrolling. The committee is looking to create new academic jobs for people who think like they do.]
 
4. Develop and expand programs for underrepresented groups, such as but not limited to Women’s Studies, Appalachian Studies, Native American Studies and Latino/a and Hispanic Studies.
[We can think of other underrepresented groups. Small business entrepreneurs, classical liberals, members of conservative Christian bodies, Platonists, Second Amendment enthusiasts, Constitutional originalists, pro-lifers, and home-schooled students for starters.]
 
5. Explore reestablishing the University Diversity Certificate Program with the intention of providing an elective diversity program that will maximize the number of students with diversity awareness, information and competencies. [We wonder what benefit to students and what advantage to Virginia taxpayers would eventuate from such a certificate program. How would possession of this certificate assist a student in the workplace, in society, or in life in general? On its face, such a certificate would more or less declare that its holder had squandered some of his opportunity for a real education.]
 
6. Implement a meeting of the Diversity Fellow and the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research/Director of Diversity Initiatives with each department to collect information and promote diversity practices. [This sounds like an institutionalization of ideological browbeating. It’s not hard to imagine faculty members anticipating such meetings: “Oh no! Break out the Cornel West books! Time once again to swear allegiance to the gods of diversity. We can’t afford to be seen as exclusively concerned with excellence in teaching our subject. We’ve got to prove we’re on board the good ship Diversity.”]
 
7. Create an easily accessible page on the College website that lists diversity courses and diversity activities available each semester.
 
8. Support diversity outreach initiatives such as the CLAHS/YMCA Partnership for Public Forums to promote “difficult conversations” and the Christiansburg Institute. [“Difficult conversations” is a relatively new term in the race industry, and it has behind it a national organization. The Difficult Dialogues Initiative tags itself as “promoting pluralism and academic freedom on campus” and is supported by the Ford Foundation. The initiative currently supports programs at 43 colleges and universities. Virginia Tech is not on the list of current or previous grantees, but it’s possible that it was among the 675 institutions that applied. 
 
This isn’t the place to attempt an overall critique of the Difficult Dialogues Initiative. But based on our initial brush with the program, we have some skepticism. The basic idea is to “prepare students to constructively engage with difficult and sensitive topics,” such as “fundamentalism and secularism, racial and ethnic relations, the Middle East conflict, religion and the university, sexual orientation, and academic freedom.” This sounds entirely wholesome and very desirable in view of the tendency within contemporary American higher education for such topics to be compressed down to the dimensions of politically correct shibboleths. The question is whether the program actually lives up to its billing. We’ve been examining one case (not at Virginia Tech) where the difficult dialogue initiative funding has been almost entirely spent supporting one-sided recitations. A student describes it as “lecturing everybody else to reform their own worldviews” and has renamed the program “Dishonest Demagoguery.” We will write on this topic separately in due course; look for it on the National Association of Scholars website. 
 
The Christiansburg Institute referred to in the document was founded in 1866 (as the Christiansburg Industrial Institute) as a venture in “race cooperation” in the form of a Quaker-supported private primary school for black children. It incorporated in 1996 as the Christiansburg Institute, Inc. and now serves as an archive and museum. The Institute’s website mentions that it has provided college students with “substantial off-campus, for-credit learning experiences.”]
 
Measures:
1. Programs and courses added or expanded that further incorporate diversity and prepare students to function in a diverse democracy.
 
2. Outcomes of meetings with departments.
 
3. Hits on College website for diversity information.
 
 
Campus Climate and Intergroup Relations
 
 
[This section of the report outlines a relentless campaign to put “diversity” at the forefront of all College communication. As it adds nothing substantive to the Strategic Diversity Plan but simply devolves down to the level of putting diversity flyers in faculty interview packets (see Objective 4, Strategy 1, Practice 2), we will let it rest in self-parody.]
 
Goal:   To create a campus climate that is welcoming for all faculty, staff and students - one that fosters a climate of inclusivity reflecting Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community.
 
Objective 1:   Maintain/increase public expression of the College’s commitment to diversity throughout the college. 
 
Strategy 1: Include Principles of Community and/or the College’s statement on diversity in all CLAHS publications, promotional materials and spaces and encourage all College administrators to consistently remind constituents of diversity commitments and goals.
 
Practices:  
1. Continue to promote diversity issues in Spheres.
 
2. Include Principles of Community and/or College statement on diversity on department websites.
 
3. Include the commitment to diversity in external and internal messages by all College administrators.
 
Measures:  
1. Use of Principles of Community and College statement on diversity on CLAHS and departmental communication materials.
 
2. Frequency of diversity commitments expressed by administrators.
 
Objective 2: Increase positive opportunities for diversity and intergroup experience for faculty, staff and students within the College and the University.
 
Strategy 1: Collaborate with community groups on diversity initiatives as opportunities arise.  
 
Practice:  
1. Pursue collaborations.
 
Measure:   
1. Participation in collaborative initiatives and responses gathered from evaluations.
 
Strategy 2: Sponsor at least two public conversations directly related to equity and inclusion each semester (lecture, film, art exhibit, etc.).
 
Practices:  
1. Co/sponsor events related to equity and inclusion.
 
2. Work in concert with the LGBT caucus, the Black Caucus, and the Hispanic Caucus, and/or sponsor events in “themed” months, e.g. women’s month, Black history month, American Indian month.
 
3. Co/sponsor pertinent and related student organization events.
 
Measures:   
1. Recognition of College sponsorship in all promotional material. 
 
2. Attendance at events and responses gathered from “after event” evaluations.  
 
Strategy 3: Participate in or create a service project to encourage faculty, staff, student, and community engagement, possibly by widespread buy-in to the already established College staff association service project each semester.
 
Practices: 
1. Establish or connect to on-going service projects.
 
2. Engage constituents (faculty, staff, students, community) via College-wide announcements through department heads and from the Office of the Dean.  
 
 Measure:  
1. Number of hours contributed.
 
Objective 3: The College will provide diversity and inclusion resources for faculty, staff and students.
 
Strategy 1: Identify and distribute diversity resources from the OEI for individual, classroom and student organization use.  
 
Practices:
1. Make available existing resources in electronic format and post them to the College’s diversity website. A College-wide email sent annually will publicize and encourage use of these resources.  
 
2. Establish an undergraduate research team in collaboration with the Undergraduate Research Institute to identify, evaluate and promote additional equity and inclusion resources for faculty, staff and student use.  
 
Measures:  
1. Distribution of email publicizing resources on the College’s diversity website.
 
2. Creation of research team and submission of the team’s final report and promotional plan.  
 
3. Use and evaluation of resources.
 
Strategy 2: Develop a College speakers’ bureau of faculty, staff and students who are prepared to share their expertise related to inclusion, diversity and intergroup relations with classes, student organizations or other groups. 
 
Practice:  
1. Develop and implement a speakers’ bureau.
 
Measures:  
1. Successful development of a list of speakers, topics and materials.
2. Use of the bureau and an evaluation of its services.
 
Objective 4: The College will develop an informal mentoring program for all new faculty, staff and students who may identify with an underrepresented group.
 
Strategy 1: Identify faculty and staff from various underrepresented groups who would be amenable to providing guidance to a new colleague who has self-identified or requested this service and establish a program in the College based on the response by faculty and staff.
 
Practices: 
1. Create a mechanism for information for new hires of the availability of the mentoring program in venues such as orientation.
 
2. Create a flyer to be included in all faculty/staff interview packets outlining mentoring opportunities.
 
3. Identify one centralized contact within the College to develop and maintain the mentoring program. 
 
Measures:   
1. Identification and recruitment of College mentors from underrepresented groups for the program.
 
2. Use of the mentoring program and follow-up with contacts.
 
3. Identification of a sponsor or sponsors for mentoring program.
 
 
Institutional Infrastructure
 
 
Goal: To better incorporate diversity into all organizational aspects of the University.
 
[This section mostly recapitulates the earlier sections but adds the steps needed to give the program a permanent bureaucratic footprint. But this section also adds a scattering of new proposals without any foundation in the preceding rationale.] 
 
Objective 1:   The College will provide sufficient funding to support its commitment to diversity. [But don’t expect any realistic cost estimates. Undermining a university isn’t cheap.]
 
Strategy 1: The College will set aside an appropriate percentage of its base budget and earmark these resources for diversity initiatives during the following year. [This is rich. “Diversity” won’t be a line item subject to ordinary budget checks and review but instead it will be a percentage of the base budget. What other area of the university is funded in this extravagant way?  Our guess is none.] 
 
Practice:
1. Each spring the College will determine the diversity initiatives it commits to supporting the following academic year and allocate funds for these programs as an integral and regular part of its budgeting process.  [“Integral and regular!” Sort of reminds one of “Interlocking systems!” “Engagement agendas!” It is not for nothing that these folks are students of bureaucratic inertia. They know how to build it in from the start. “Integral and regular” translates into, “Don’t hold us or our budget accountable for past performance. Give us our cut.”]
 
Measure: 
1. Line items in the College budget. These currently include:
a. Diversity Fellow                                        $ 2,000
b. Departmental Diversity Grant Program       $25,000
c. Coordinated School Visit Program (CSVP) $10,000
d. CLAHS Diversity Award                            $01,,500
 
[Modest requests? Don’t count on it.]
 
Strategy 2: The College will strive to improve support for disability services and accommodations.
 
 
[Huh? The only previous mention of “disability” in this document is in Objective 1 under Education and Scholarship (page 9 in the original) and that was a call to add a “graduate certificate in disability studies.” This new item pretty much comes out of the blue. Is there an implied relationship between “diversity” and “disability”? Are disabled individuals now to be considered an identity group deserving a place in the diversity dispensation? Or is the idea that members of the other diversity-demarcated groups have a high demand for disability accommodations? 
 
 
Note that “disability” in American higher education includes not only students who have physical disabilities and need accommodations such as ramps and handicapped accessible bathroom stalls. The burgeoning business of campus disability offices is certifying students who have “learning disabilities” and who are entitled under federal law to accommodations such as exemptions from certain kinds of academic requirements, extra time on tests or untimed tests, note-takers, free tutoring, and so on.]
 
Practice:
1. The College will promote a more systematic and thorough identification of ongoing needs of individuals with disabilities. It will work with other units across the campus to streamline the current process for requesting funds for disability-related initiatives. The College will match any awards for disability-related initiatives made at the University level. 
 
 Measures:
1. Revision of fund request process.
 
2. Increase in support for disability-related initiatives.
 
Objective 2: The College will use innovative strategies to actively and continuously recruit underrepresented staff and faculty members in all ranks.
 
Strategy 1: The College will re-establish the ABD (dissertation-in-residence) program with the dual purpose of providing support for a doctoral candidate in a CLAHS discipline and ultimately recruiting the candidate for a faculty position in the College. 
 
[This appears to be a grow-your-own minority hiring program. The implications are disturbing, since it contravenes the usual practice of requiring the newly-minted Ph.D. (or other doctoral degree holder) to validate his credential by earning his way in the outside world. Will faculty members hired through this route be stigmatized for lacking this external validation? Does Virginia Tech care more about making its quotas of minority hires than it does about the long-term career prospects of its doctoral graduates?] 
 
Practice:
1. Implement the ABD program.
 
Measure:
1. Number of participants and subsequent recruitment.
 
Strategy 2: The College will enhance its website to highlight its commitment to diversity.
 
Practice:
1. The College will regularly post relevant information regarding its diversity strategic plan, current diversity initiatives and recent diversity-related activities.
 
Measures:
1. Increased number of diversity-related links, e.g., to the OEI, and pictures. 
 
2. Number of hits on website. [Glad to see that the Committee is attending to important details.] 
 
Strategy 3: The College Diversity Committee will prepare a brief handout highlighting diversity/multicultural initiatives and accomplishments in the College for inclusion in the packet of materials given to every candidate for a staff or faculty position.
 
Practice:
1. Prepare and distribute handout.
 
Measure:
1. Feedback regarding the handout. [“How did you like our diversity handout? Did it make you feel welcome here? On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the absolute best handout ever, how did our handout rate?”] 
 
Strategy 4: The College Diversity Committee will prepare for every new staff and faculty person in the College a packet of materials with information about the Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Conflict Resolution resources available at Virginia Tech.
 
Practice:
1. Prepare and distribute packets.
 
Measure:
1. Feedback regarding the packets. [See handouts.] 
 
Strategy 5: The College will work with the Office of Development and/or corporate sponsors to fund chairs and professorships in curricular areas related to diversity, e.g., Africana Studies. [Of course. Logrolling isn’t always cheap. Diversity initiatives like this will cost many millions of dollars. If external funders want to support things like this, fine. But it is important to keep an eye on “cost-sharing” arrangements in which the taxpayer may be expected to match the external donor’s contribution. And it is important to consider the University’s opportunity costs. Pursuing a donor for funds to support a professor in Africana Studies generally means foregoing other efforts.]
 
Practice:
1. Establish chairs and professorships.
 
Measure:
1. Number of chairs and professorships.
 
Strategy 6: The College will revisit recommendations in the Virginia Tech Task Force on Race and the Institution, p. 18, regarding implementation of “a cluster hire of approximately five positions for instructional faculty members from a variety of disciplines with expertise in the scholarship of race and ethnicity or diversity issues” as well as the idea of Hispanic Studies at Virginia Tech.
 
[This is the heart of the institutionalization of the diversity program. It is hard to see any genuine intellectual purpose for these hires. They amount to building into the faculty of the College a permanent faculty caucus tied to an explicit political agenda. Normally new faculty positions are created in response to growth in student enrollments in a program and expansion in sponsored research opportunities. Here the growth is mandated by an ideology.] 
 
Practice:
1. Hire faculty and establish the program.
 
Measures:
1. Number of faculty hired. 
 
2. Establishment of Hispanic Studies program.  [The report offers nothing to justify this venture. There is no demand for it or interest in it, at least not mentioned here. It appears to be a speculative venture aimed at developing another captive clientele for the professional diversity elite to exploit.] 
 
Strategy 7: The College will consider the hiring incentive currently used throughout the University of California system and at Princeton. In this system, several positions are held at the College level and not distributed to departments. The salary savings from these non-held positions are used to cover several years of the salary of recently hired faculty members who clearly contribute to the College’s commitment to diversity. This frees up the recently hired faculty members’ salaries, which go to their departments as incentives/rewards. (The UC system uses these monies as one-time supplements to the salaries of all faculty in the departments that successfully complete hires that support diversity.)
 
[The arrangement referred to here amounts to “capturing” the funding for positions that have become open because of retirements or faculty members leaving their jobs to take positions elsewhere. Instead of consulting the needs of the department that loses a valuable faculty member, this system sequesters the funding line at the level of the dean’s office. The dean in turn uses the funds, in effect, to reward departments that propose to spend the money on “diversity” hires. It rewards departments that are willing to set aside considerations of academic need and merit in order to curry favor with the dean’s desire to populate the college with more members of minority groups. It is, other words, a money-driven mechanism for racial discrimination in faculty hiring. And a recipe for undermining academic standards in favor of a political program.] 
 
Practices:
1. Articulate the policy.
 
2. Initiate the practice.
 
Measure:
1. Number of departments supported through these additional funds.
 
Strategy 8: College search committees will make better use of the diversity-related search questions developed several years ago by a subcommittee of the diversity committee.
 
Practice:
1. Distribute and implement the search questions.
 
Measure:
1. Number of departments employing these questions.
 
Strategy 9: The College will make use of the expertise and training available among its faculty and staff to pursue additional strategies.
 
Practice:
1. Faculty and staff with expertise in the area of recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and/or staff will be invited to share their ideas as a part of a brainstorming session among faculty to develop and refine best practice minority recruitment protocols.  [Is this wholesome? Those most committed to setting aside transparency of academic standards in faculty searching will privately consult with each other on the best ways to skirt anti-discrimination laws?] 
 
Measure:
1. Number of additional strategies that result.
 
Strategy 10: The College will engage an external consultant to assist departments in generating and pursuing strategies to recruit underrepresented faculty.  [We can’t forget our friends, the diversity consultants.] 
 
Practice:
1. Extend an invitation to consultant.
 
Measure:
1. Number of additional strategies that result.
 
Objective 3: The College’s academic climate will be a welcoming, inclusive one that will ultimately support the retention of all staff and faculty.  [Well, maybe not all faculty. What about the ones who disagree with the committee? The ones who think fairness to all and color-blind recruitment policies should prevail? No, not them.]  
 
Strategy 1: The College leadership will consistently advance the priority of diversity in public venues such as speeches and publications.
 
Practice:  
1. Regularly include a statement regarding the College’s commitment to diversity.
 
Measure:
1. References to diversity.
 
Strategy 2: Incorporate into the College’s mentoring initiatives for pre-tenure faculty the importance of support, colleagueship and active engagement in diversity activities.  [In practical terms, steps like this will weed out any junior faculty members who think for themselves or who decline to show sufficient enthusiasm for Virginia Tech’s diversity activities. “Active engagement” is a tough standard. Just repeating the loyalty oaths apparently won’t suffice. CLAHS needs to see the junior faculty members out there filling the sandbags of advocacy against the rising flood waters of common sense.] 
 
Practice:
1. Regularly evaluate mentoring initiatives by participants and the overall sense of support and inclusion in departments and the College.
 
Measure:
1. Development of quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate both mentoring initiatives and the overall sense of support and inclusion in departments and the College.
 
Strategy 3: The College will make use of the expertise and training available in other offices at Virginia Tech to pursue additional strategies. [Translation: we the members of this committee humbly stand ready to tell our faculty colleagues what to believe and how to lead their lives.]
 
Practice:
1. Individuals from units such as the OEI with expertise in various areas regarding diversity will be invited to share their ideas as the basis of a brainstorming session among faculty in the College as to how the mentoring of underrepresented faculty can impact the academic climate in the College.  [Ouch! More brainstorms. Perhaps the committee favors this form of intellectual activity because it bypasses the need for careful consideration of evidence and for sifting the arguments for alternative views. Brainstorming is what you do when you know where you want to go but aren’t entirely sure how to get there. It doesn’t have much to do with the thoughtful deliberations that are the traditional core of academic self-governance.] 
 
Measure:
1. Number of additional strategies that result.
 
Strategy 4: The College will include the duties and title “Director of Diversity Initiatives” in the portfolio of one of the associate deans and will maintain its support of the College Diversity Fellow. [It is hard to think that the title “College Diversity Fellow” will redound to anyone’s credit. The title rather painfully implies, “I am a member of a minority group who makes a big deal out of that fact, probably because I cannot really cut it if judged by the same standards of performance that apply to everyone else.”] 
 
Practice:
1. Maintain the title and responsibilities within the portfolio of an associate dean in the College.
 
Measure:
1. Inclusion of the title and responsibilities related to diversity initiatives in the portfolio of an associate dean.
 
Objective 4: Pre-tenure faculty in the College will be well prepared to move successfully through the promotion and tenure process, and the College will continue to recognize the importance of good mentoring to the overall health of all faculty.  [Health? Presumably this is metaphoric, but the document has so little metaphor in it that it is puzzling that it breaks out into figurative language on the next to the last page.] 
 
Strategy 1: Each department within the College will develop, make known and implement clear and equitable criteria for promotion, tenure, and/or advancement of all faculty. [What is this doing in a document titled “Strategic Diversity Plan?” Every department in every college in the country should have “clear and equitable criteria for promotion, tenure, and/or advancement” of faculty members. In fact, accreditors require such criteria. The inclusion of this declaration here suggests that the committee is up to something that is not clear or equitable: namely a covert definition of “equitable” that turns that idea inside out. We know from other Virginia Tech documents, for example, that the University is playing around with the idea of “inclusive excellence,” which means in effect, that the standard of achievement will vary depending on which racial or ethnic category the candidate belongs to. It is a form of affirmative action for ideas and the exact opposite of “equity” as that idea has stood in law for a millennium or more. But this is a conjecture. What exactly does the committee have in mind?]
 
Practice:
1. Each department will review its promotion and tenure standards for clarity, accessibility and fairness and make changes where needed.
 
Measures:
1. Promotion and tenure standards will be easily accessible and demonstrate clarity and fairness across all departments in the College.   
 
2. Quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate these standards will be implemented.
 
Strategy 2: The College will continue to develop, implement and refine mentoring programs to support the success and retention of pre-tenure faculty.
 
Practice:
1. Mentoring initiatives will take the form of individual and group activities to support the success of pre-tenure faculty.
 
Measure:
1. Development of quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate and refine the College’s mentoring initiatives.
 
 
 
[1] These characteristics included, but are not limited to ability, age, body size and condition, class, color, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, geographical and cultural background, health status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran status.
 
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