Rethinking College Education in America

In an interview posted last month by the Hoover Institution, the estimable Victor Davis Hanson, speaking in character, made a typically provocative comment, saying “for what we are paying for every provost of diversity and inclusion we could probably hire three professors of electrical engineering.”

That can be fact checked. And the results are illuminating.

On the Public Records Act-enabled online database “Transparent California,” take a look at these 2018 search results for job titles that include the word “inclusion,” or “diversity.” Note that taxpayers funded a position for Jerry Kang, UCLA’s vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, that bestowed a total pay and benefits package worth $468,919 in 2018.

Compare that to the faculty of UCLA’s School of Engineering, where two assistant professors (Jonathan Kao and Ankur Mehta) along with an associate professor (Chi On Chui), altogether collected pay and benefits in 2018 of $564,123. That’s pretty close. At UCLA, at least, you can definitely hire two electrical engineering faculty members for the price of one diversity don, and quite nearly three.

To be fair, perhaps an apples to apples comparison would be to look at UCLA’s top engineering faculty member. Ok. The chair of that department is Gregory Pottie, who made $312,027 in 2018, only two-thirds what Kang made. But Gregory Pottie is running an engineering department. That takes technical expertise and produces graduates that keep the world running. What does Kang do?

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