Sunday, September 9, 2018

Nothing (official) to say?

A week ago, the Sunday LA Times carried an op ed from conservative commentator Heather Mac Donald critical of diversity rules regarding UCLA faculty hiring. It opened with:

If Albert Einstein applied for a professorship at UCLA today, would he be hired? The answer is not clear. Starting this fall, all faculty applicants to UCLA must document their contributions to “equity, diversity and inclusion.” ...*

Yours truly expected that someone official at UCLA would in due course respond, at least with a letter, if not an op ed. But a week later, all that has appeared in the Times is four letters to the editor. One noted that Einstein in fact took a stand against racial segregation, so he would have been hired. (It might also have mentioned that Einstein never got a ladder faculty appointment at Princeton. He was instead appointed as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study located on campus, but apparently not formally a part of the university.) Another two letters agreed with Mac Donald. A fourth letter is from a department chair at UCLA who defends the policy.**

Maybe folks in UCLA officialdom are still on vacation, but the silence is surprising.

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