Wednesday, 26 July 2017

$3 Million to Fight Microaggressions and Bias, Improve Diversity in Colleges

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The federal government continues to waste taxpayer dollars by funding ridiculous studies with leftist agendas. The latest example of this is a $3 million National Science Foundation study to stop “microaggressions, implicit bias, and lack of diversity” on college campuses.

Campus Reform reports that of the $3 million, $174,932 will go toward an “Implicit Bias Conference” hosted by Stanford University, which will analyze racial bias and how it impacts people’s decisions. The abstract for the conference states, “This project brings together experts on prejudice and discrimination to have a deep discussion and write up a report to understand what various measures of bias represent and best ways to measure implicit bias.” According to the abstract, the report will “be disseminated widely” to assist business and government agencies in working more efficiently to understand and address bias, as well as to assist the scientific community in optimizing its research in these areas.

The University of New Hampshire will use $1 million to stop “bias incidents” against women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). According to the abstract for the UNH program, the purpose will be to “foster gender equity through a focus on the identification and elimination of organizational barriers that impede the full participation and advancement of women faculty in academic institutions.” Historically speaking, of course, STEM fields have been mostly staffed by male teachers and attended by male students, since these subjects are typically things that boys and men, rather than girls and women, are interested in. There is no active effort to exclude females from these fields, at least not in Western countries.

And $2 million will be utilized for Texas A&M University to improve “diversity, inclusion and quality” of the school’s STEM community. The Texas A&M’s Revolutionizing Diversity of Engineering will be used to “dramatically improve the diversity, inclusion, and quality of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members.” Furthermore, the money will be used to help the school’s engineering program transition from “airplanes and spacecraft” to “energy systems, the environment, healthcare and quality of life” — in other words, all of the major liberal talking points.

Constitutionalists recognize that the use of taxpayer money to fund studies, whether they are nonsensical or valuable, represents vast overreach and a usurpation of powers by the federal government. What’s worse is that these particular studies, though they are being utilized by institutions of higher education, make no effort to improve the academic experience of the students at these college campuses, but instead continue to promulgate the victim narratives that serve only to isolate and marginalize the students.

Writing for the Hoover Institution, a public policy think-tank, James Huffman, a member of the Federalist Society Property and Environment Practice Group, notes that colleges are exacerbating race problems because they “have made race and racial differences central to almost everything they do.” He adds, “And to make matters worse, those who accredit our universities make attention to race in admissions and programming a condition of accreditation.”

Huffman notes ironically that the campus campaigns for “diversity” are in themselves examples of “microaggressions,” because these programs indicate simply that “campus officials believe students of color need extra help to succeed.”

And these practices only hurt relations between white students and minority students,” Huffman observes:

When they apply to colleges, white students know that they have a disadvantage in the admissions process. Once they arrive on campus, they witness university-sponsored and -endorsed programming directed at students of color. Now they are learning that they need to shelve their “white privilege,” notwithstanding that many of their minority classmates may have come from economic or family circumstances far better than theirs.

Whatever privilege students may have before they arrive at college, the reality of American higher education today is that students of color have been privileged by their institutions in ways that invite segregation and differential treatment, whether done in the name of reparations for past discrimination, as affirmative action to overcome societally imposed disadvantages, or in the belief that celebrating and encouraging differences improves education for everyone.

While college campuses have made “diversity” and “tolerance” their primary focus, college graduates continue to fall short of employers’ expectations, according to a 2016 PayScale survey, which shows that institutions of higher education are not equipping students with the necessary skills to be successful. According to PayScale’s survey, 60 percent of managers report that recent graduates within their organizations do not possess the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they feel are necessary for the job. Likewise, 56 percent of managers said recent graduates do not pay attention to detail and 46 percent stated that the new graduates need to improve their communication skills.

Even worse, the survey found that colleges are even failing to help foster students’ interpersonal and teamwork skills, despite all of the efforts these schools put into their students’ social experiences at the expense of their academic progress. The survey showed that 44 percent of managers reported a lack of leadership qualities and 36 percent reported that the graduates needed to improve their interpersonal and teamwork skills.

Perhaps the next time the federal government finds itself with an extra $3 million, it should consider returning it to the American people from whom it came instead of handing it over to colleges and universities to try to fight false cases of "gender bias," perpetuate racial divides, and fail students academically. 

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