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Wednesday, December 09, 2015

 

State Lawmakers Consider Pulling University Funding After Discovering How Much Money Is Being Spent on ‘Diversity’

Rickey Hall, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion (except if you're Christian, then "we don't serve your kinds here")

rickeyhall

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s faculty is scrambling as state lawmakers consider pulling taxpayer funding for the school’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion after it published controversial holiday party guidelines.

Scrutiny of the university’s diversity office was sparked — once again — after it published holiday season guidelines for employees that urged them to “ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise.” The list, which was published on the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s website, has since been replaced with three generic paragraphs that ask for those celebrating the holidays to be mindful of others.

The school official who published the guidelines has relinquished his control over the website, TheBlaze has learned.

In light of the published guidelines, Tennessee State Rep. James Van Huss introduced legislation to defund the Office of Diversity, saying that his constituents have repeatedly been alarmed over some of the things the office promotes. Van Huss first advised defunding the office over the summer when it published a guide urging employees to use gender-neutral pronouns such as, “ze, xe, xem, xyr, zirs and hirs,” when addressing students.

“This in no way reflects the values of my constituents,” Van Huss told TheBlaze in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

Van Huss said he was not opposed to having a diversity office on the UT system’s campuses in general but referred to an earlier press release from his office that called for more oversight and less taxpayer money.

“We had been trying to draft something that would leave the office in place but bring more oversight. However, after this latest action, it is clear that this taxpayer-funded department in no way reflects the values of Tennesseans,” he said in a press release provided to TheBlaze. “First, it was Sex Week, then the Gender Neutral Pronouns, now these recommendations to ensure ‘holiday’ parties have nothing to do with Christmas. What else has the Office of Diversity been doing with our tax dollars?”

Glenn Reynolds - Instapundit - is the University of Tennessee's most famous and prolific scholar.   I hate to see this at UT, but it is part of Big Academia.  Perhaps this is unavoidable if you create a position like "Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion."  This is what you are going to get.

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Comments:
I am a modestly noticeable financial contributor to my undergraduate school, a fine private liberal arts university in the hills of Tennessee. I sometimes get invited to meetings which are recognitions, and typically what would be called the school President talks about all the great things they are doing. Mostly they are, but recently one of the topics was "diversity," both students and environmental. When he asked for questions or comments, I stood up and said that "Most schools, and especially a first class school, should go through their catalog and faculty directory. Anything which includes the words "green," "sustainable," "diversity," "biodiversity," "inclusivity," "race," or "gender" should have its budget zeroed out. This will free up university funds which you hope we will contribute for academically valid studies, and reduce dramatically the amount of unless baggage which students are hobbled with, and some never unlearn." His polite response was pained, to say the least, especially considering the amount of support I got from others present.
 
Thanks Tregonsee. I wonder what the faculty of UT thinks. I suspect that most are avoiding the subject, even Glenn Reynolds who uses his bully pulpit at Instapundit. In the current political climate, there is probably no upside to breasting the tide in your own school. There are a few exceptions, such as Mike Adams at UNC-Wilmington.
 
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