I am working closely with our athletic director Kelly Mehrtens and our search committee to continue the process of identifying the right coach. I am forced to do so because it has become apparent that Kelly Mehrtens is over her head in this position. That is because her selection for this position was not made on the basis of qualifications. She was selected on the basis of her status as a black female.
Some have made much of the argument that Kelly Mehrtens is incompetent. As evidence, they have cited the following: 1) Her decision to fire our last basketball coach during homecoming week. 2) Her decision to give the last coach a two-year contract extension after only one year of coaching his predecessor’s recruits. 3) Waiting six weeks to form a committee to look for a new coach. 4) The drastic reduction in donations to support the athletic department, etc, etc, etc.
But these criticisms miss the truth about diversity, which I have highlighted in bold letters so all of you can understand: An institution’s commitment to diversity is inversely related to its commitment to competence. Those who are calling for the firing of Kelly Mehrtens miss this fundamental point.
Put simply, if Kelly Mehrtens was hired by considering race (and gender) over competence then it makes no sense to fire her – in effect, saying her incompetence is suddenly more important than her race. After all, she is still black. And there is no evidence that she plans to change her gender.
I know it hurts to lose basketball games. And I know it hurts to see an entire athletic program in shambles. But diversity feels good. And it reminds us we are all really good people at heart.
For those not Swift enough to understand, you have just read a social satire on affirmative action and diversity. Rosemary DePaolo has never told the truth about diversity, nor taken much of an interest in the truth on any given issue. Despite her incompetence, she remains as UNC-Wilmington chancellor because she is a woman. And Kelly Mehrtens remains as her athletic director because she is black.