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One University Will Pay $243,000 for 38 Days of ‘Diversity Consulting’

Wants to 'ensure' school population more closely mirrors California's demographics, but what about academic skills?

“‘Diversity and inclusion’ is the latest obsession in higher education and elite schools compete with one another to see who can field the largest and best-paid team of diversity bureaucrats (diversocrats),” wrote Mark Pulliam, a contributing editor at the Law & Liberty website, in City Journal recently.

Perhaps this is partly why California Polytechnic State University is now positioning itself as diversity and inclusion’s most ardent cheerleader.

Located in San Luis Obispo, California, the public university will soon spend a a rather stunning $243,000 for 38 days — or about $6,400 per day — on “diversity consulting.”

This to help ensure the population of the school more closely mirrors the demographics of California, reported Campus Reform.

“The university leadership has launched the Cal Poly Inclusive Excellence Action Plan,” the Cal Poly website explains, adding that the approach “to diversity and inclusion work is grounded in the recognition that a community or institution’s success is dependent on how well it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators and alumni constituents.”

And who is the beneficiary of this plum contract? That would be Damon A. Williams, Ph.D, “a diversity, equity and inclusion expert and one of the founding architects of the ‘Inclusive Excellence Model,’ a framework that helps institutions fully integrate their diversity, equity and educational quality efforts and embed them into the core of academic mission and institutional operations,” according to the school’s website.

“The university’s investment in Damon Williams and his team underscores our commitment to improving our campus climate and culture, enhancing our students’ Learn by Doing experience, furthering our leadership development, and ensuring that every member of our community knows they belong,” Matt Lazier, the university’s director of media relations, told The San Luis Obispo Tribune recently.

Still, Heather Mac Donald, author of “The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture,” is not buying those rationales.

“Discrimination is not the problem — lack of academic preparation is,” she told LifeZette by email today. “Spending vast amounts of tuition and taxpayer dollars on grotesquely overpriced diversity consultants does nothing to close the academic skills gap.”

“The money being diverted into diversity sinecures could certainly be better applied in yet another effort to overcome the dysfunctional stigma against ‘acting white’ and other cultural barriers to minorities’ academic success.”

“The only reason that Cal Poly is not enrolling a proportional number of underrepresented minorities is that their academic skills are so abysmally low. There is not a single admissions officer or faculty member who is discriminating against blacks and Hispanics in admissions or any other activity. The same is true for every other college in the country,” she added.

Mac Donald is a contributing editor of City Journal and is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

She added, “Though a lack of K-12 school spending is not the cause of that skills gap, the money being diverted into diversity sinecures could certainly be better applied in yet another effort to overcome the dysfunctional stigma against ‘acting white’ and other cultural barriers to minorities’ academic success.”

To be sure, the latest moves by one university are just the tip of the diversity-and-inclusion iceberg.

“The sheer size of the diversity landscape is staggering,” noted Pulliam in his City Journal piece. “The University of Michigan’s diversity bureaucracy employs nearly 100 full-time employees, one earning more than $300,000 per year, at an annual cost of more than $11 million.”

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.