Becky Fenger Fenger PointingOCTOBER 6, 2010

UA president on warpath

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"Our diversity is one of our greatest assets."
                                       --- UA President Robert Shelton

University of Arizona President Robert Shelton is spitting mad over Proposition 107 and prepared to go to the mat fighting it. Even if the measure on the Nov. 2 general election ballot – which would ban racial and gender preferences in government, including in higher education – is passed by voters, he "will not back off one bit" from the university's efforts to promote "diversity" and recruit more women and minorities. Voters be damned.

That's what happens when one puts "diversity goals" ahead of "most qualified."

In a clever turn of events, the "Yes on 107" campaign chair Rachel Alexander challenged President Shelton to walk his own talk and step down from his position for the sake of diversity so that a woman or minority could take on his job. "His $549,400 position could be given to an affirmative action applicant," Alexander said. "Or perhaps he believes that discriminating quotas should only apply to other people, but not to him?"

You've got to love it!  If you check UA's Web site, you will find their diversity goals posted, including specified percentages of women and minorities for a whole host of jobs. As Alexander notes, these hiring quotas include goals for women to comprise 63 percent of new Assistant Director Administrators, 73 percent of Animal Technicians, and 56 percent of the faculty in Fine Arts. Goals for minority hires include 53 percent of General Maintenance positions and 59 percent of Supervisors in Service/Maintenance. "I'll bet there's a woman or a "minority" who meets the minimum qualifications to be president of the University," observes Alexander. Bingo!

In a panel talk at the university last week on how the actions of Arizona legislators affect education, President Shelton pledged he won't let Proposition 107 hurt the school's commitment to diversity. As reported in the Arizona Daily Star, Shelton said Prop. 107 could discourage minority students and faculty from applying to UA in the same way that a similar measure in California "made them feel unwelcome."

Yes, there was a dip in applications, but all is back to normal now, and the rainbow world has not collapsed. How insulting to women and minorities to base practices on the assumption that they couldn't make it unless the rules were bent for them. Such lowered expectations filter all the way down to diaper school, and no good has ever come of it. (For the exact opposite philosophy, research the dynamo teacher Marva J. Collins.)

Opponents of Prop 107 will claim there are no affirmative action policies in Arizona.
Hogwash. Why don't you ask Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, who has been gaming the system for years, about that?

Opponents claim "It's not about affirmative action; it's all about goals." Again, that's playing word games, because how would you know if your goals are met if they aren't measured by quotas?

The arguments that are the tawdriest are those that try to scare or threaten the voter. Claims are made that domestic violence centers would close if Prop 107 passes. Ridiculous. Breast cancer research will drop off. That's nuts. No women would get any decent jobs.

When are the "do-gooders" going to figure out that women in the United States are neither oppressed nor in the minority. Some medical schools are graduating more women than men, so males can actually qualify as a "minority" admission. This is craziness. Sister Mary Lucinda was right when she said our sex organs would get us into trouble, but she had no idea that it would lead to this! The obscenity of quotas.

Since universities are among the least transparent of organizations, how can we believe President Shelton when he says UA has reviewed all of its diversity programs to make sure they would comply with Prop 107 and then turn around and announce that he will find creative ways to get around complying with Prop 107? Nobody likes to challenge college presidents, but they certainly aren't royalty. (We have only to look at ASU President Michael Crow for living proof of that.)

Shelton is also an opponent of SB 1070 and HB 2281, the new law that opposes ethnic studies that promote race-baiting, victimhood and the superiority of La Raza or, you know, stuff like Marxism.

I close with a posting in by noted historian Victor Davis Hanson:
"Diversity is Orwellian: the university is the most politically intolerant and monolithic institution in the country, even as it demands the continuance of tenure to protect supposedly unpopular expression. Even its emphases on racial diversity is entirely constructed and absurd: Latin Americans add an accent and a trill and they become victimized Chicanos; one-half African-Americans claim they are more people of color than much darker Punjabis; the children of Asian optometrists seek minority and victim status."