Students and faculty at the University of Southern California are upset because a popular dean of the Marshall School of Business, James Ellis, has been fired by interim USC President Wanda Austin. Hundreds have rallied in protest and petitioned for his reinstatement.
Why the ouster?
The administration has offered a vague indictment about “lack of diversity” and problematic handling of racial- and gender-bias complaints. There’s apparently a commissioned report, the Cooley report, about the complaints. But few have seen it.
“Jim has not been allowed to see the Cooley report, despite repeated requests to do so by him, his legal counsel, a trustee, and me,” says donor and USC board member Lloyd Greif. “Nobody has seen it.”
Greif argues that no complaint dealt with by Ellis’s office “alleged any egregious conduct, and none of them involved inappropriate behavior by Jim.”
Was old white male Ellis expelled for presiding over a too-little-diverse student body (and perhaps for being inadequately “diverse” himself), as determined by an arbitrary standard?
Without transparency or due process, who could know?
But lack of any official accountability suggests some warped notion of “diversity justice” is being applied here, a notion that dismisses rational goals and relevant facts to focus only on whether the ethnic/gender/other-unchosen-trait makeup of a sub-population sufficiently mirrors that of the general population.
If so, is this a standard that should be applied universally?
No matter how you answer that question, note what is not being focused upon: providing a good education.
This is not Common Sense.
I’m Paul Jacob.