Woke Watch: Stanford Engineering’s DEI Bureaucracy

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Some careers have it all… a job in the heart of Silicon Valley, washing machines on the job, a lucrative salary, and vague responsibilities at best. But if you can’t find a job as a software engineer at a large tech company, consider joining the ranks of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) staff at a well-resourced university. With a median salary of $147,000, DEI managers in Santa Clara County do — shockingly — better than software engineers (median of $127,000, according to ZipRecruiter).

Stanford is home to one of the nation’s leading engineering schools. And, like almost every other engineering school in America, Stanford has a self-diagnosed diversity problem and a DEI program to deal with this problem. Stanford Engineering’s website states that the goal of its DEI initiative is “to ensure a more fair and equitable educational experience” and that it “strives[s] create a nurturing, welcoming and inclusive environment for people of varying backgrounds, perspectives and beliefs.

To “fix” the problem, the School of Engineering (SoE) has assembled a team of DEI bureaucrats who are creating inclusivity guides, holding diversity town halls, and collecting libraries of online resources for each department, among other things. . What’s most curious about the bloated diversity bureaucracy is its non-existent effect on…diversity. While the number of DEI employees at Stanford Engineering has grown over the past decade, the percentage of underrepresented minorities (blacks and Latinos) at SoE has stagnated, at 6% and 16%, respectively.

But let’s be honest: diversity is a cover. The real objective of the DEI brigade is to politicize what should be one of the most concrete and objective disciplines: engineering. While Stanford’s School of Engineering’s “diversity” programs may not achieve stated diversity goals and progressive hopes, don’t think they’re not advancing the true meritocracy-eroding agenda. .

Let’s take a look at some of the DEI cosmetic initiatives. Besides writing extremely lengthy BLM statements and jotting down land acknowledgments for the Ohlone Indians, the primary use of SoE DEI staff’s time appears to be concocting 30-page DEI reports on each department. Take, for example, the Mechanical Engineering Department DEI Report 2021, which contains the word harm 18 times, black 23 times, and racism 11 times — but didn’t mention tutors or educational support (the most sensible ways to increase diversity).

DEI also seeps into classrooms and labs, as illustrated by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering’s (CEE) “Ten Simple Rules for Building an Anti-Racist Lab.” According to the guide, it is not enough for instructors to “regularly lead informed discussions on anti-racism”; racism should also become field safety instructions. After all, what is a microaggression if not a chemical leak of hate?

Another paper, by CS professor Cynthia Lee, titled “What can I do today to create a more inclusive community in CS?” contains fantastic tips for achieving a sanitized, censored and politically correct classroom. He asks instructors to remove references to “very masculine or heavily stereotypical CS movie posters” and self-censoring “anecdotes about […] childhood or everyday life that can make students feel excluded for economic reasons. They should also avoid “heteronormative” examples such as “bijective functions between sets”. [of] ‘boys and girls.'”

While classroom instruction can always be improved, none of these materials are likely to help. Instead, they help assure student activists that their professors are just as awake as they are, devoting diligent attention to superficial issues like the racial makeup of stock photos. But, a lot of people feel really good building a sticky web of political correctness rather than facing reality. It’s awakening illustrated – a pat on the back for maintaining the livery of progressive idealism while doing nothing to advance real diversity.

As for the diversity-themed courses… To say that these courses are not rigorous would be an understatement. Courses like CEE 130R: Racial Equity in Energy and ME 180: Designing Dark Experiences are the flagship options for Awakened Engineering. There is also ENGR 117: Expanding Engineering Limits: Culture, Diversity, and Equity, which studies how “culture and diversity shape who becomes an engineer”. The course outline asks students to consider how a list of 6 “different intersectional aspects of identity” influence diversity in engineering.

This is all great communication, but remember: the school of engineering, according to Stanford’s own data, is not more diverse! It turns out that they also overestimate the extent of the diversity problem. While blacks and Latinos are underrepresented in certain majors (such as computer science), the two are almost proportionally represented in everything undergraduate engineering. Since the 2012-2013 school year, black schooling has increased from 5% to 6%. During this time, the Latino inscription remained the same.

Stanford does not release demographic information on specific majors, but in 2020 the Stanford Daily released a report on the demographic trends of CS, the largest engineering major. From 2015 to 2020, the percentage of women, blacks, and Latinos majoring in CS at Stanford has remained relatively flat.

Are minorities underrepresented at Stanford Engineering? In some cases, yes. But, if we really want to create a more diverse school, we need to focus on the core issue: educational support for those who start at a lower starting level. The fact that Stanford decides to hire a clown car of diversity bureaucrats, instead of increasing the budget for tutoring students who need extra help, tells us all we need to know: nothing it’s not about diversity or success, it’s a jobs program for wokesters who failed the tech interview at Google or couldn’t find a job in sociology.

It’s time to abandon these initiatives once and for all, and Stanford Engineering is the perfect place to start.

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