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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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The diversity police up the ante in the UC system

Uploaded: Jul 30, 2019
CalMatters Columnist Dan Walters pointed out recently just how whacko the University of California’s policies have gotten.

Walters noted that the University of California Regents have an official policy that there’s no political litmus test for appointing or promoting faculty members or employees. Yet, UC administrators are doing exactly that by requiring recruiters “to take “pro-active steps to seek out candidates committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
That directive includes the requirement for applicants for faculty jobs and promotions to submit diversity statements that will be scored. At UC Davis, the academic affairs department says, tenure-track faculty applicants should have “an accomplished track record…of teaching, research or service activities addressing the needs of African-American, Latino, Chicano, Hispanic and Native American students or communities.” Their statements must “indicate awareness” of those communities and “the negative consequences of underutilization” and “provide a clearly articulated vision” of how their work at UC-Davis would advance diversity policies,” Walters reported.
The UC system, like most higher education institutions, is heavily stacked with faculty and employees with a decided liberal bent. This is yet another move to ensure even less diversity of thought at the state’s premier higher education system.
Given the leadership of UC President Janet Napolitano, it’s no surprise. Her office already consistently has promoted absurd policies such as avoiding trigger words that might offend. This in the university that gave birth to the free speech movement. It’s anything but free speech at Cal and other UC campuses today.
Walters did a service by pointing this out. With Democrats dominating Sacramento, sadly there’s little likelihood of the regents or university administrators being held accountable for such crazy policies. It probably will take legal action by an applicant being discriminated against by these policies before it will be seriously challenged.
Changing gears, I have a new favorite airplane. We just returned from two weeks in Africa serving with Heart for Africa. Going to Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) involves at least one very long flight to reach Johannesburg, South Africa. We have flown through Atlanta, London and Amsterdam, but this time, based upon price, we flew Emirates on a new Airbus A-380. That’s the huge plane with seating on two decks.
Our economy seats were notably wider than traditional for long-hauls on Boeing 777s or 787s. It made for reasonable comfort on the 15 ½ hour legs from San Francisco to Dubai and back.
The one downside: it took nearly an hour before our luggage emerged. The plane carries about 500 people, which typically means 1,000 pieces of luggage. The luggage carousels at SFO in the international terminal are expansive, but workers pulled off bags from the get-go so it would not jam.
One other note: We ate in airports in Joburg and Dubai. Similar meals cost $21 in South Africa and $56 in Dubai. Such is the exchange rate—quality wines were bargain priced in South Africa.

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