05 October 2006

Glenn Grothman: wrong for putting $700 million at risk.

Hi folks,

Glenn just can't take yes for an answer if it conflicts with his ideologically tastes.

State committee eyes affirmative action

By Tom Sheehan | Tribune Capitol bureau

Committee chairman Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, questioned state administration and university officials about hiring and admissions policies, which he said seem highly subjective. He asked UW System officials to provide a list of items that give applicants a chance to “jump up in the queue” in admissions.

UW System schools don’t assign “points” for race, although race is one factor among many considered in admissions, said Margaret Lewis, System associate vice president for state relations. Admission standards vary by campus, but academic performance is paramount in all cases, Lewis said.

The UW System is obligated by state and federal law to encourage diversity, and $700 million in federal grants could be at risk if federal standards are not met, said UW System General Counsel Patricia Brady, who testified before the committee.

Actually, I'm mostly amazed that Glenn used the word "queue."

Here's my take on diversity. I'm pretty sure I'm right about this too. Y'all will let me know.

1) Education is primarily about discovering the gaps in what you know (since the stuff you do know already is, well, already known to you).

2) You can't figure out by yourself what it is you don't know -- if you knew what it is you don't know, then you'd know what that is (you might want to reread that again, slowly) :^)

-- so you need other people to help you find those gaps in your education of which you remain unaware. In other words, to flesh out your own education, you have to get a handle on the "unknown unknowns." The Sec of Defense, when he made this quip about Iraq, was actually paraphrasing Socrates, so it's been the sort of thing my discipline has been thinking about for some time now. :^)

3) Since you cannot know by yourself what it is you don't know, you have to have people around you with different backgrounds to help you do that -- since people with the same backgrounds will tend, as a rule, to not-know the same stuff you don't know either.

and so 4) to be well educated, students need to be around a lot of other students from diverse backgrounds. This helps everyone locate the gaps in their own experience and knowledge base and, in this way, fill in those gaps and become... tada... better educated.

So it serves everyone if the UW system figures out a way to make sure it has a diverse student/faculty mix.

It seems ironic to me, just now rereading all that, to think that this little logical exercise might be too complicated for Glenn -- who is , remember, a LAWYER and a politician by trade.

Just musing.



winter said...

Upon viewing these remarks, it is evident that Grothman and Gard are in possession of the same genetic mutation that enables them to believe that they transcend all in the world that does not mirror them and that they can live independent of a healthy environment and all that is not illuminated in their tunnel vision. It would be nice if we could have some kind of logic and reason in our legislatures to address the entirety of our communities. PLEASE vote this November and as often as you can!

Anonymous said...

The entire key to diversity is that diversity done right strengthens the organization. Diversity done wrong, can severely damage it. So quotas demanding that you hire and promote to senior positions left-handed balloon animal makers will ultimately result in clowns running the organization. Diversity based on merit will result in choosing from a larger talent pool and having a significant sustainable competitive advantage.

Mpeterson said...

I couldn't agree with anonymous more here. Diversity for the sake of diversity is nuts. Diversity for the sake of widening the pool of possible worldviews is precisely what strengthens a student's grasp of their own world view.

The real danger is in letting clowns control the budget when they should be making animal balloons.