Tax Dollars At Work

In what has become a recurring ritual on campuses across America, a chapter of Young Republicans at Berkeley held an “Affirmative Action Bake Sale”, satirizing the notion of racial preferences. The usual suspects had the usual conniptions, and were backed by the standard diversity apparatus, personified in this case by Gibor Basri, UCB’s vice chancellor for equity and diversity, who justified his $194,000 per annum by telling the NYT that ““A lot of students, especially students of color, read [the bake sale] as placing a higher value on white students.” Leaving aside the fact that charging white guys the maximum (as the bake sale did) actually seems to imply the urge to reward (and therefore value) the other folks (or perhaps in the current parlance, the Other folks), one must wonder how many times this sort of thing can happen. It already seems like there have been more performances of the AABS than of The Mousetrap, and it should be drawing yawns by now, but hey — give the people what they want, right? And apparently what they want is a chance to feel outraged.

Heather MacDonald sums it up:

Students in the ever-expanding roster of official campus victim groups flatter themselves that by attending what is in fact the most caring, protective, and opportunity-rich institution in the history of the world, they are braving unspeakable threats to their ego and even to their physical safety.

She says other cool stuff, too. Go read her.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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3 Responses to Tax Dollars At Work

  1. Jeff says:

    Though it’s something of a tangent, I’d note that the chancellor’s salary alone could provide six months of health insurance to around 100 adjuncts and their families, or to around 240 single adjuncts (or other part-time employees). The university can bray all its want about its values; its actions suggest that what it really values is bureaucracy.

    • profmondo says:

      Actually, Jeff, I’d say that’s very much on point. I don’t think people would complain about money being spent on classroom employees or the custodial or food services people — I wouldn’t, at least beyond the level I complain about spending anyway. But pouring it down the rathole of administrative sinecures is (as we say in Mondoville) a whole nother thing.

      • Jeff says:

        Well, I was reluctant to put it the way I did because there are understandable reasons related to supply and demand why adjunct pay is what it is; plus, I myself don’t usually buy arguments that start with, “But that money could be used to fund my preferences…”

        That said, I think “rathole of administrative sinecures” is the right term for this, because that $196,000 chancellor really does have 17 people working for him, including policy analysts, multiple admins, and even his own graphic designer. That degree of administrative bloat no longer surprises me, but it does still sadden me.

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