So let us examine some realistic aspects of those three foundational branches of “Diversity’s Promise”: It must be an imperative; it must be inclusive; and it must differentiate:
Since this campus is in San Diego County, there is a perfect example that I personally recall regarding the U.S. Navy in San Diego. LT Kara Hultgreen was a Navy Pilot over twenty years ago who was artificially thrust forward through a jet training pipeline because there was a “Top-Down Imperative” (from Washington) to produce a female F-14 Fighter Pilot. Her flight performance record as a student would never have permitted her to get as far as she had if she were a male F-14 pilot. She was killed in 1994 behind the tail of the USS Abraham Lincoln, having stalled her airplane out through pilot-error, crashing the $38 million dollar fighter jet into the Pacific Ocean, and almost killing her backseat Radar Intercept Officer (who safely ejected).
My point is not that women don’t have a place as Navy Jet Pilots (there are countless women in the field of aviation), but they would have fallen naturally into this position as those with “The Right Stuff” were given the opportunities. The point is the Navy’s affirmative action imperative resulted in an unqualified candidate and a real-life catastrophe. Similarly, the line of thought Dr. Smith makes can be compared to making it an imperative to fit a square peg into a round hole, wishing to fit as many different shapes as possible into that round hole. If the square peg or other shapes don’t fit into the round hole, then modify the round hole until that new peg can be forced in!
As an employee in a field that requires demanding skills, experience and scientific knowledge, the idea of rewriting the job descriptions to reflect this new diversity mandate essentially trivializes serious professions, and I view this as more a disservice to the institution, one that could easily produce an accident as in the Hultgreen story or at least drag down its overall effectiveness or efficiency. Read more