Phi Beta Cons

Response From a Reader on Diversity Certificates

My article on UNC’s “diversity advocate” certificate prompted a frequent reader to share his experiences:

I can’t wait until some white males get “diversity certification,” apply for jobs that call for “diversity certification,” and are turned away in favor of women and minorities who don’t have the certification. Trust me, this will come to pass.

In the 1990s I was teaching at a California community college (not my career, but I did it after leaving private industry). I taught science for non-majors, and many of my students claimed that they wanted to be elementary-school teachers. So, like, OMG, why do we, like, need stuff like science and like math, you know?
Then (and now), California liked to see something called the CLAD certificate, Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development, for its school teachers. This certificate supposedly demonstrates understanding of the pedagogy pertinent to recent immigrants. It’s not used in colleges. But to set an example, at my own expense I took the exams and got the CLAD.
Did this impress any of the ethnic activists on campus, the same ones who agitated for the CLAD as a qualification for school teachers? Of course not. Instead, I was reviled. You see, by virtue of having “white privilege,” I couldn’t possibly know anything about the CLAD material. Must have been luck. Not that the activists had the CLAD themselves.
I believe I also infuriated the faculty union (I was not a member), since I had done it at my own expense.
So it came to pass that I returned the CLAD certificate to Sacramento, and requested that it be revoked. When I didn’t get a timely reply, I went to Sacramento and addressed the certification board in person, demanding revocation of my CLAD. Then they did it.
Robert Allgeyer

FL and CA

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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