Mike Adams
Heads are hanging at the University of Oregon (UO) today. The first vice provost for institutional equity and diversity, Gregory Vincent, is leaving his position in order to diversify his resume. Now, he will become vice provost for inclusion and cross-cultural effectiveness and professor of educational administration at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). I don?t know how they plan to fit all that on his office door.

A native New Yorker, Vincent is also an Oregon law professor. That doesn?t surprise me. Who else but a lawyer could convince someone that ?inclusion and cross-cultural effectiveness? is a legitimate area of expertise? Of course, it isn?t legitimate. Speaking of illegitimacy, perhaps it?s just an insurance policy to keep from getting blackmailed by litigious black males like Jesse Jackson.

Upon his departure, Vincent predicted that ?UO and its leadership will continue to make significant progress toward its commitment to cultural diversity.? In other words, nothing important is happening in the world of diversity, but the university is making progress towards being emotionally prepared to try harder in the future.

That Vincent left his job to be near his family in Austin, Texas is unsurprising. Diversity experts often speak of the importance of immersing oneself in a culture different than one?s own. But, in the final analysis, they prefer to be surrounded by their own people.

UO doesn?t know how it will function without a vice provost for institutional equity and diversity, despite making it for 127 years without one. Nonetheless, they have formed a University Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity just in case.

Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of UT, says that Vincent will lead development of the campus as a more diverse and welcoming environment. Faulkner created the position last year in response to recommendations by the university?s Task Force on Racial Respect and Fairness (also known as, UTRRAF). A nationwide search that involved campus interviews with the finalists concluded this spring.

I called Robert D. Meckel in the UT Office of Public Affairs (and so can you at 512.475.7847) in order to ask these questions about the new czar of inclusiveness:

1. Gregory Vincent recently interviewed successfully for a position as your new inclusiveness czar. How did he convince you that he was better than all the other candidates, given that he was then a provost of equity? Shouldn?t he have argued that the candidates were all equal?

2. You decided not to hire several candidates for the inclusiveness position. Wasn?t that discrimination? Shouldn?t you be inclusive and hire them all?


Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.