As protesters festively (oops! I mean “heroically”) rally on college quads across California in the wake of the gratuitous macing of a dozen Occupy Wall Street wannabes at University of California–Davis last Friday, UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion declared that the rising tuition at California’s public universities is giving him “heartburn.” It should, since Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Gibor Basri and his fellow diversity bureaucrats are a large cause of those skyrocketing college fees, not just in California but nationally.
It is to be expected that students will be immaculately ignorant of the matters they protest, but it takes a special type of gall for a bureaucrat such as Basri to shed crocodile tears over California’s tuition increases, which had been a seeming target of OWS-inspired protest before the brutish UC Davis pepper-spray incident provided a more mediagenic reason to cut classes. OWS-ers are theatrically calling for a general strike of the University of California for this coming Monday.
Basri commands a staff of 17, allegedly all required to make sure that fanatically left-wing UC Berkeley is sufficiently attuned to the values of “diversity” and “inclusion”; his 2009 base pay of $194,000 was nearly four times that of starting assistant professors. Basri was given responsibility for a $4.5 million slice of Berkeley’s vast diversity bureaucracy when he became the school’s first Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion in 2007; since then, the programs under his control have undoubtedly weathered the recession far more comfortably than mere academic endeavors.
UC Berkeley’s diversity apparatus, which spreads far beyond the office of the VC for E and I, is utterly typical. For the last three decades, colleges have added more and more tuition-busting bureaucratic fat; since 2006, full-time administrators have outnumbered faculty nationally. UC Davis, for example, whose modest OWS movement has been happily energized by the conceit that the campus is a police state, offers the usual menu of diversity effluvia under the auspices of an Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Community Relations. A flow chart of Linnaean complexity would be needed to accurately map all the activities overseen by the AEVC for CCR. They include a Diversity Trainers Institute, staffed by Davis’s Administrator of Diversity Education; the Director of Faculty Relations and Development in Academic Personnel; the Director of the UC Davis Cross-Cultural Center; the Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center; an Education Specialist with the UC Davis Sexual Harassment Education Program; an Academic Enrichment Coordinator with the UC Davis Department of Academic Preparation Programs; and the Diversity Program Coordinator and Early Resolution Discrimination Coordinator with the Office of Campus Community Relations. The Diversity Trainers Institute recruits “a cadre of individuals who will serve as diversity trainers/educators,” a function that would seem largely superfluous, given that the Associate Executive Vice Chancellor for Campus Community Relations already offers a Diversity Education Series that grants Understanding Diversity Certificates in “Unpacking Oppression” and Cross-Cultural Competency Certificates in “Understanding Diversity and Social Justice.”