Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Cosmic justice and diversity of political beliefs 

Today's pop quiz: Count and critically evaluate all the cliched bromides found in these two paragraphs drawn from SCSU's new strategic plan. Then postulate some potential problems the university may face if it retains the words "political beliefs" in this preamble to defining its "quantitative key performance indicators." How about setting a quota for hiring professors who are neither Democrats nor members of any other denomination of liberals? Oof dah!

Social justice and diversity are mutually reinforcing concepts. Diversity relates to the empowerment and inclusion of all peoples and results in the enrichment of the human experience and the continued viability of the planet's ecosystems. Social justice is best exemplified through the ideals and values espoused by a democratic society; it is achieved though systems that enable and support individual empowerment, the fair and equitable distribution of resources, and socially responsible leadership committed to advancing social change. A foundation of diversity and social justice builds and optimizes organizational strength and effectiveness by capitalizing on the value and abilities every individual has to offer; it is founded on management and leadership practices that assume the general goodness of our humanity.

To bring value to an organization, diversity must embrace difference of all sorts, including race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and political beliefs, to name a few. A multitude of divergent and complementary perspectives is necessary for a creative, stimulating and effective atmosphere and is absolutely essential to the growth and vitality of a public university. Only through the expression of many viewpoints can students learn to think critically for themselves and participate fully in a democratic society.