Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - Critics Slam Univ. of Oregon Diversity Effort

In an effort to promote diversity at the University of Oregon a plan has been developed that would hire, fire and promote professors not just on the quality of their teaching and research, but on their so-called “cultural competency."

Supporters say they understand the challenges, but such a program is necessary because racism and discrimination persist.

I can't stand those types of programs (usually boring, a waste of time, patronizing, assume the worst of its white students), having had to sit through them myself (although I was never faced with losing my job over it). The motives behind these diversity efforts are usually noble - make the world a better place by teaching everyone to get along. But in my opinion this program (and most others like it) is very misguided because the people that need to be taught "cultural competency" the most are neither college students or professors. The target audience should be young children, and the teachers should be their parents. Any other teacher is bound to be much less effective. Whenever I came across prejudice in my classroom I tried my best to address it and correct it, but I cannot think of oneinstance where I had any effect on the child's opinion. Even though kids act like they hate their parents, that is whom they look to for their culture and mores.

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