University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, in a “town hall meeting” on academic affairs, said the University has “a standing offer to any department that if they can find an outstanding professor of color, we (the University administration) will help recruit them … even if the department lacks the financial assets to bring another professor on.”
Frankly, I am outraged by the notion that this University will not make itself and its resources available to recruit any outstanding professor. The fact Trachtenberg’s offer was limited to minority faculty is horrendous. GW is an excellent university, but it will not remain so if considerations beyond the objective quality of potential professors goes into recruitment decisions.
While a racially diverse faculty may or may not be valuable, I imagine most of GW’s students are more concerned about a professor’s abilities than the color of his or her skin. If there are extra recruitment resources to be had, the University should make them available to recruit any outstanding professor of any color, sex, nationality or religion. Doing otherwise amounts to no less than base discrimination.
Unfortunately, this unfair policy is typical of University practices. GW is avowedly an “affirmative action” institution. In other words, GW routinely considers race in admissions and hiring decisions. The idea that any consideration of race in these decisions is permissible is anathema to basic human fairness. Race conscious policies at this University will continue to undermine the value of the basic equality of all people.
-Joseph Daniel Ura