As the Davis Enterprise reports, the University of California at Davis has created a new position, “vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion,” in order to “engage more effectively with the recruitment and retention of the best and brightest students, faculty and staff.” For this new post, UCD has tapped Renatta Garrison Tull, associate vice provost for strategic initiatives at the University of Maryland.
With advanced degrees in electrical engineering, Renatta Tull would seem to be pretty bright herself. On the other hand, students aspiring to attend UC Davis, their parents, and current faculty, have good cause to wonder about the need for this new position.
Back in the 1970s UC Davis twice excluded highly qualified student Allan Bakke, a Vietnam veteran and a person of no color, from the UCD medical school. At the same time, UCD reserved slots for “minority” students with lower academic qualifications. Bakke sued and won, but the UC system continued to discriminate against students of no color and Asians.
UC administrators essentially told them they already had “too many” such people, who were “overrepresented.” This reflects the diversity dogma that all institutions must reflect the racial and ethnic proportions of society. As it happens, such proportionality is not state or federal law.
Excluded Californians pushed back against discrimination at the ballot box. The 1996 California Civil Rights Initiative, Proposition 209, bans racial and ethnic preferences in state education, employment and contracting.
The University of California is for the top tier of the state’s students, and under Prop 209 none can be admitted, or excluded, by means of racial or ethnic preference. This eliminates the need to spend public funds on any new Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, such as UCLA’s Jerry Kang.
As Manhattan Institute scholar Heather MacDonald notes in The Diversity Delusion, UCLA pays Kang a whopping $440,000 a year, more than the official salary of the president of the United States. On Kang’s watch, UCLA has showed implicit bias against free-speech advocates such as Keith Fink, who as a UCLA student won three national debating championships.
Fink’s course, “Sex, Politics and Race: Free Speech on Campus” was popular with students in many disciplines, including medicine and law, but unpopular with campus diversity bosses. They proceeded to limit enrollment to Fink class, conduct a rigged review process, and intimidate students who held demonstrations in favor of the professor chanting “Rethink, keep Fink.” UCLA wasn’t listening and after they fired Fink the diversity troops proceeded to go after his supporters and even his former debate coach.
In 2011, when UC Davis students peacefully protested tuition hikes, the administration deployed campus cops to pepper spray them. The ensuing lawsuits cost taxpayers more than $1 million. No UCD administrators got fired, least of all chancellor Linda Katehi, who also came under fire for spending $407,000 in university funds to shore up her image on the internet. Katehi resigned but UC Davis hired her back as a professor, maintaining her salary of $318,000.
The UC Davis announcement for Renatta Tull did not include her salary. Whatever the level of pay and benefits, a new position for diversity, equity and inclusion runs contrary to Proposition 209, which did not eliminate affirmative action.
UC Davis is free to help qualified students on an economic basis. On the other hand, under state law, UC Davis cannot give preference to any student on the basis of race or ethnicity.
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