Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Public choice theory for faculty unions 

The university has been searching for almost two years for an affirmative action officer, and it's trying again. The faculty union is soliciting members to the search committee. In its email today:
The election will be by Preferential ballot at large. The person with the most votes from each college will be appointed. The replacement scheme to ensure diversity will be used to replace the person from their own college. If any of the six positions remains open, they will be filled with the top vote getters.

I include the replacement scheme we use to ensure diversity.

All searches shall have at least one female and one minority member from the FA on the committee. If through the election process no female is elected, then the female with the highest vote total shall be declared an elected representative to serve on the committee. If no minority is elected, then the minority with the highest vote total shall be declared an elected representative to the committee. In no case shall the only female representative be replaced by the minority candidate nor shall the only minority representative be replaced by the female candidate.
Didja get that? In other words, if a minority member isn't the top votegetter in a college (there are six) they will invalidate the result and put a minority member on the committee. Ditto for women. And if a college doesn't nominate someone, some other college gets two seats. Moreover, the union uses preferential voting with an open list, which would be good except for this problem of bumping aside candidates who are to be replaced by females and minorities. By bullet voting, the hard core of the union's left wingers can force a center-right member of a committee down the list and then have them bumped by a female or minority member. This fairly well stacks the deck.

This rule isn't just for affirmative action searches, by the way. They use this for any university-wide search.