The army of diversity bureaucrats in US higher education is a strong signal of its decline. I am all for social justice and compassion. But that should be kept within proper limit. When it blows out of proportion, it discourages hardworking, undermines fairness, worse, it erodes the very foundation of American dream—meritocracy.
Here is a recent example that gets my nerve:
ME: If we really value excellence, we would not dilute it. We single it out.
When a candidate cannot stand on merit alone, and has to be justified on the diversity ground, well, that is quite telling of his/her true caliber.
R: “For the stage of her career (early associate) she has a solid record of publication. Her seminar presentation was very good although I had several questions about the assumptions she made in the model. Still, the analysis seems to have been done carefully and competently. Her teaching evaluations are very good and she will contribute to our gender diversity at the school. She does not quite fit the bill of being an established scholar(although in the ad we say we will consider tenured associate. Still, I see her contribution to our school as the highest among the 3 candidates and I rank her first.”