Friday, April 23, 2004

The sins of leadership visited on the university 

Official word of mandatory diversity training came from President Saigo late yesterday, including this admonition:
I hope that each of us will cooperate in good spirit, within a positive context of personal and institutional growth and development. Although I believe we all will work together to make the training successful, I also must re-emphasize, very strongly, that this is not an optional matter and that disciplinary action, as outlined in each bargaining unit�s contract, will be enforced should you not complete the training. I am optimistic that we will not be required to take any such actions.
Scholar Dave responded:
I shall not attend any mandatory diversity training sessions this May. Do with me as you will.

I believe it is not my duty to cover for the failure of the MnSCU officials, SCSU administrators, and/or FA leaders to have abided by a court's decree. Nor is it my duty to cover for those who still refuse to come forward and identify themselves as being personally responsible for having suggested that mandatory diversity training be part of any court settlement.

My strongly held belief is that mandatory diversity training for any group does, ipso facto, embrace and endorse the insidiously divisive and stereotypically repugnant concepts of collective guilt and diffused individual accountability. [If I had chosen to go] I would sign up for one of these mandatory sessions, show up, and sign my name, followed by the words:

I attend this session, not because I in any way fear any threatened punishment by the administrators of SCSU, nor because I accept at all the premise of collective guilt that underlies the concept of mandatory group diversity training . . . but only because I love my students, our college, and our university, and in no way want to see their names further sullied in the press or by the court.
Or by failed leadership.