Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Is this a good diversity job? 

Loyal reader Pat Mattson sends me a job description for a post at the University of Washington Business School for a "Professor of Entrepreneurship with a Multicultural Emphasis".
Preferred applicants will have a combination of academic study, teaching and work related to small business and entrepreneurship that totals at least three years. The successful candidate must also have a demonstrated interest in teaching related to minority- and women-owned businesses. It is also expected that the candidate's research in marketing or management will include topics related to women and racial/ethnic minorities.

The individual selected for the position will be expected to teach one or more courses that currently comprise the academic content of the Business and Economic Development Program. This Program, now in its 10th year, provides technical assistance to businesses located in diverse communities in Seattle and other parts of Washington that are owned by individuals from a variety of racial/ethnic and national origins as well as women. The courses focus on student consulting experiences in which client projects are completed for mostly small businesses. Projects usually focus on developing marketing and business plans. Current courses enroll primarily undergraduate students and include "Multicultural Marketing and Business Development" and "Managing Change in a Multicultural Business Environment."
It would be easy, I think, to blow this off as another of those ridiculous "diversity" positions, but there's a way this can be helpful. Teaching entrepreneurship teaches one to evaluate risk and be creative. It involves accepting responsibility as an individual. I have no idea what the ideology of the people behind this position is, but it has the potential to be a great chance to show, how shall I put this, "compassionate capitalism."