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Bombshell BYU announcement


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45 minutes ago, Bob Crockett said:

You are so completely wrong.  I was there on the ground floor of FARMS.  I was Jack Welch's first research assistant when Welch came to teach at BYU Law.  I saw how he put together FARMS and FARMS Review.  FARMS then evolved into an apologetic platform when Dr. Peterson took over.  Some of its published pieces were rude and insulting.  But I rather liked the Peterson version of FARMS but, having grown up with my grandfather who had been a BYU university interim president and hanging around with a lot of academic types I seriously questioned the role the Peterson/Maxwell Institute at BYU.  And I was right.  It was replaced by a more neutral academic focus.  With true academics, not lay hacks (like me, who published in FARMS). 

There was no "hijacking."  The Maxwell Institute was BYU's, not Dr Peterson's.  Plus, I think Dr. Peterson is in a much better place now with more freedom to put out what he wants to publish.  And it is quality stuff. 

I may not have been on the “ground floor,” but I have followed the “different-direction” episode closely — including the candid account by Dr. Peterson — and I don’t believe I AM wrong. 
 

As for the “neutral academic focus,” it’s my understanding that the Brethren made it clear in the mandated course correction that the institute was not to be neutral where the Church and the restored gospel are concerned. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 minute ago, Scott Lloyd said:

If I have commented in general terms, let me be clear and say that I was alluding to Smac specifically. He has been eminently reasonable, thoughtful and wise in this debate, as he is accustomed to being. And his points have been rock solid. I have no reservations or discomfort about agreeing with him or even defending him (as though he needed it from me). 

Noted.  I assumed as much from the beginning as I don't remember you guys ever really disagreeing on anything of significance on the board.  

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4 hours ago, smac97 said:

And yet some folks in this thread don't seem to be much in the mood for "due deliberation."

I agree.  But I'm not really focusing on whether the proposed policies are legal.  I think they very well may be.

Agreed.  That race-based discrimination can be legal is not my point, though.

Sure.  Lots of emotion on this thread.  I have repeatedly declared my opposition to racism, and yet I am being hectored and bullied and tacitly accused of racism for trying to have some of that "due deliberation" Pres. Worthen referenced.

Could you elaborate?  If race-based policies at other universities have resulted in what can reasonably be called "racial injustice," I think it's reasonable to be concerned that BYU might, in implementing similar policies, end up with similar results.

Whites and Asians and Jews.

And again, whether such discrimination is legal or not is not my point.

And no, it's not just "on an emotional level."  I posted some links to news items that lay out precedents for my concerns.

Thanks,

-Smac

There are many kinds of racism, and it is easier to recognize and oppose some forms than others. Surveys like the one used by BYU reveal those which are unrecognized, which elicit emotional reactions because people haven’t consciously thought about them but nonetheless live their lives, for better or worse, with them. The links you provided suggest that we should recognize that the Civil Rights Acts protect whites, Jews and Asians as well as BIPOCs and therefore the favorable status quo of these groups should continue to be protected and their inequities justly addressed.

That which can be “reasonably be called racial injustice” (colloquially, “reverse discrimination”) in terms of opinion and analysis certainly leaves BYU as subject to opinion and analysis and even DOJ allegation as any other university.

I understood you were counting Asians and Jews as whites in terms of general academic access, enrollment and performance vis-à-vis race-based policy. Specific to Yale, Harvard and BYU, I suspect we would see very different historical applicant profiles for reasons unrelated to admissions policy, and BYU’s recommendations seem to facilitate a better university experience overall for Asian and Jewish students once they are admitted. The recommendations are much broader than the policies criticized in the links you provided.

Are your concerns limited to the possibility of fewer whites, Asians and Jews being admitted to BYU and the potential for DOJ allegations?

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13 minutes ago, rongo said:

Why do you think the released text used the turgid social activism buzzwords?

I don't know that I could really say without knowing who wrote it.  Does it credit an author?

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1 minute ago, bluebell said:

I don't know that I could really say without knowing who wrote it.  Does it credit an author?

It was the work of a committee, so I don't know that there is a single "author." I think it's partly laziness (using the common, but problematic, language of the diversity/equity movement is easy to do), and partly an overt effort to resonate with that group (my opinion, of course). 

That's why I reworded it in my list. I think the "brass tacks" of the action list are pretty clear, but there was a felt need to obscure a bit through wordiness and euphemism. 

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1 hour ago, SteveO said:

How is BYU’s mission regarding race and diversity different from the race and diversity goals of other schools?

How many other schools refer to their students as children of God? Let's start there. 

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27 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I've been meaning to say this since yesterday and keep forgetting, but I really don't like the language BYU has used in the changes.  It's much too difficult to interpret and understand and in some circles will be instantly off putting (as we are seeing here).

There's a difference between saying something useful and just using a lot of word.  I feel like BYU is in the 'using a lot of words' category.   

I wish they would simplify and say exactly what they mean instead of relying on buzz words and common social justice phrases.  If it seems like you are copying from "social activism for dummies" then something has gone wrong somewhere.

I think there is good reason for administration to allow a committee to express itself as it sees fit -- which may not be in the best interests of its aims. I trust that the administration is sophisticated enough to distill the salient points into the most helpful application while adopting some of the language in order to project its balanced attitude toward its  several audiences.

Edited by CV75
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24 minutes ago, rongo said:

Why do you think the released text used the turgid social activism buzzwords?

That is where they are coming from -- look at the makeup of the Committee. There are other layers for this to pass through.

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6 minutes ago, rongo said:

It was the work of a committee, so I don't know that there is a single "author." I think it's partly laziness (using the common, but problematic, language of the diversity/equity movement is easy to do), and partly an overt effort to resonate with that group (my opinion, of course). 

That's why I reworded it in my list. I think the "brass tacks" of the action list are pretty clear, but there was a felt need to obscure a bit through wordiness and euphemism. 

That it was written by committee may have been its downfall. 

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8 minutes ago, rongo said:

It was the work of a committee, so I don't know that there is a single "author." I think it's partly laziness (using the common, but problematic, language of the diversity/equity movement is easy to do), and partly an overt effort to resonate with that group (my opinion, of course). 

That's why I reworded it in my list. I think the "brass tacks" of the action list are pretty clear, but there was a felt need to obscure a bit through wordiness and euphemism. 

Committee on Race, Equity & Belonging Membership: https://race.byu.edu/committee-members

I might observe that the differences in language and word usage are in the spirit of authentic expression, but racial and cultural divides make them difficult to accept as other than ideologically rooted and externally imposed.

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Correcting a system that is giving an unwarranted advantage for a subset of students isn’t discrimination, it’s fixing a problem. What it will lead to is hopefully more equitable admissions, for not only BIPOC but lower income white students as well. (Several of the passages I mentioned noted these structural changes would also help lower income students in general

This.  Tens times this.

From Bluedreams in her above post....I really wish the quote collapse feature was optional.

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16 minutes ago, SteveO said:

https://equity.nd.edu/about-us/spirit-of-inclusion/

 

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The social teachings of the Catholic Church promote a society founded on justice and love, in which all persons possess inherent dignity as children of God. 



Great find.  Was ND one of the schools referenced by Smac?
 

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43 minutes ago, CV75 said:

The links you provided suggest that we should recognize that the Civil Rights Acts protect whites, Jews and Asians as well as BIPOCs and therefore the favorable status quo of these groups should continue to be protected and their inequities justly addressed.

No, I am no suggesting that.  Race-based discrimination is wrong, no matter whom it favors or disfavors.

I question that "Whites, Jews and Asians" enjoy some "favorable status quo" at BYU by virtue of their race.  If they did, there would be lawsuits aplenty.

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That which can be “reasonably be called racial injustice” (colloquially, “reverse discrimination”) in terms of opinion and analysis certainly leaves BYU as subject to opinion and analysis and even DOJ allegation as any other university.

Sure.  

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I understood you were counting Asians and Jews as whites in terms of general academic access, enrollment and performance vis-à-vis race-based policy.

I am counting Asians and Jews along with Whites as being racial groups who have been discriminated against at other colleges and universities because of their race.  I am further suggesting that this is wrong.  I am further expressing concern about this formally implemented at BYU.

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Specific to Yale, Harvard and BYU, I suspect we would see very different historical applicant profiles for reasons unrelated to admissions policy, and BYU’s recommendations seem to facilitate a better university experience overall for Asian and Jewish students once they are admitted. The recommendations are much broader than the policies criticized in the links you provided.

Right.  I am expressing concern for some aspects of some of the policies.

When I was in law school are wrote an article about racial profiling at airports (this was shortly after 9/11).  I came to appreciate how difficult it is to incorporate race as a factor in treatment of individuals.  

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Are your concerns limited to the possibility of fewer whites, Asians and Jews being admitted to BYU and the potential for DOJ allegations?

My concern is that formally adopting expressly race-based policies will result in what we have seen at other colleges and universities: de facto discrimination against disfavored racial categories (most likely Asians, Jews and Whites).  None of my kids is interested in attending BYU, so I have no personal interest on that score.  And I would be similarly concerned if BYU were to adopt race-based policies that resulted in de jure or de facto discrimination against Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans or Polynesians.  

My concer is that race-based discrimination is bad, that the proposed policies will end up fomenting some measure of discrimination, and that BYU should not be in the business of discriminating based on race.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Apparently there is going to be a Zoom meeting about this stuff tonight:

IMG-0886001.jpg

I'm trying to find a link, and will post it if I find it.

Thanks,

-Smac

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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Apparently there is going to be a Zoom meeting about this stuff tonight:

IMG-0886001.jpg

I'm trying to find a link, and will post it if I find it.

Thanks,

-Smac

Why is the anti race club always headed by the whitest guy anyone knows?

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46 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

writing on phone. It takes too much work to separate out write now. My words are in bold

With luv, 

BD

 

Always enjoy your posts. Pressing “return/enter” twice in the middle of a quote works for me to split it from my phone.  Ymmv. 

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20 minutes ago, Calm said:

https://equity.nd.edu/about-us/spirit-of-inclusion/

 



Great find.  Was ND one of the schools referenced by Smac?
 

But look at the problems they’re having there...my problem isn’t inclusion and diversity.  I moved to Northern Virginia a year ago.  The merging of diversity and American tradition is very cool, and I love it.  
 

My concern, is the propensity for this stuff to get out of control and run into absurdity. “Safe Space” was on the list in the OP.  I don’t trust these people to keep this from getting out of control and getting into the realm of coddling and stifling the academic spirit that is eroding on many University campi.

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16 minutes ago, Calm said:
Quote

Correcting a system that is giving an unwarranted advantage for a subset of students isn’t discrimination, it’s fixing a problem. What it will lead to is hopefully more equitable admissions, for not only BIPOC but lower income white students as well. (Several of the passages I mentioned noted these structural changes would also help lower income students in general

This.  Tens times this.

From Bluedreams in her above post....I really wish the quote collapse feature was optional.

I'm having a hard time with this.  Removing "an unwarranted advantage for a subset of students" over here by creating a new "unwarranted subset of students" over there seems like a "fix" that is fraught with risk.  

And I have to disagree with summarily saying that race-based admissions policies aren't "discrimination."  That sure seems to be the argument being made by Asian students against Yale.  

I don't know what "equitable admissions" means in this context.  Consider, for example, this Op-Ed item (authored by Jason L. Riley) :

Quote

A popular college ditty during the 1910s began:

Oh, Harvard’s run by millionaires,
And Yale is run by booze,
Cornell is run by farmers’ sons,

Columbia’s run by Jews.

If you thought that sort of bigotry at elite universities was a thing of the past, you might want to reconsider in light of a federal district court ruling last week on Harvard’s admissions policies. It seems the only thing that’s changed over the past century is the group being targeted for exclusion.

In 1914 about 40% of Columbia’s students were Jewish. By 1918 effective quotas had reduced their numbers to 22%. In the 1920s Harvard and Yale would follow Columbia’s lead. Harvard’s freshman class of 1925 was nearly 30% Jewish. The next year it fell to 15% and remained thereabouts for the next two decades.

Today’s concern is the overrepresentation of Asian students on elite campuses and the sneaky ways that colleges go about capping their numbers. In 2014 Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit, sued Harvard, alleging that the school had passed over Asians for admission because of their race. The plaintiffs presented data showing that Asian applicants needed SAT scores that were about 140 points higher than their white peers to be accepted. And they argued that the percentage of Asians admitted to Harvard was suspiciously similar year after year despite dramatic increases in the number of Asian applicants and the size of America’s Asian population.

Asian enrollment at Harvard was 19% in 1992, 18% in 2013, and in the interim always remained roughly between 15% and 20%. By contrast, Asian enrollment at another highly selective school, the California Institute of Technology, grew steadily from 25% to 43% over the same two-decade period. The plaintiffs argued that the disparity in Asian enrollment at the two institutions reflected the fact that Harvard’s admissions process is race-conscious while Caltech’s is race-blind.

As between the admissions processes used by Harvard and Caltech, which is more "equitable," the one that takes race into account, or the one that does not?

That's a tough question, and the answer shouldn't be "It depends on if you are Asian or not."

I also don't understand how "lower income white students" are going to gain an advantage by policies that by definition exclude them (since they are not "BIPOC").

I am quite okay with taking individual socioeconomic circumstances into account.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I may not have been on the “ground floor,” but I have followed the “different-direction” episode closely — including the candid account by Dr. Peterson — and I don’t believe I AM wrong. 
 

As for the “neutral academic focus,” it’s my understanding that the Brethren made it clear in the mandated course correction that the institute was not to be neutral where the Church and the restored gospel are concerned. 

You are wrong. I will continue to say that.  At no time have the "Brethren" ever spoken out at all about the transition of focus for the Maxwell Institute, nor have they ever said in the course correction that the Maxwell Institute is not required to be neutral.  Furthermore, the "Brethren" is not one "Brother" speaking. 

BYU is prohibited from speaking out as to the reason for the change in emphasis at MI and the termination of the Review, as it is related to a personnel issue.  They've never said anything.  The only reason why Bradford's letter ever surfaced is that Dr. Peterson outed the letter.  The only reason (it appears to me) that Bradford ever wrote the letter is that Dr. Peterson was avoiding him, but I'm speculating.  I'll bet Dr. Bradford regretted writing the letter.

I have nothing but good to say about Dr. Peterson and his life's work.  It was in the wrong place under BYU's roof.   He publishes, in my view, to help educate seminary and institute instructors.  He writes to their level.   The Review's works seemed to be edited to that end; I know, I published two particularly long pieces and one piece went through a year of edits and rewrites with Dr. Peterson doing most of that work.  My piece went all the way up to the Church's family history division for an edit.  I met with that editor.  

But that isn't want a University does.  It doesn't publish lay pieces and submit them to peer review.   The Review was out of place.  

I think it is an outrage against BYU administration to say, as you do, that the Review and MI was "hijacked," as that term suggests that the Review and MI were stolen from their rightful owners.  I'm curious -- have you ever heard Jack Welch speak out against the transition?  After all, he was the founder.

Dr. Peterson was never "fired" from any job.  He was asked to remain on the MI Board but resigned.  

 

Edited by Bob Crockett
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46 minutes ago, SteveO said:

Why is the anti race club always headed by the whitest guy anyone knows?

It probably depends on the area of the anti-race club.  In our circles, in Utah, I think it's a combo of that's who's available to choose from and who is most likely for other white people to actually listen too and believe.  

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45 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Always enjoy your posts. Pressing “return/enter” twice in the middle of a quote works for me to split it from my phone.  Ymmv. 

You need to create the new end of the paragraph and then put the cursor at the end of the last sentence before hitting return twice for it to work for me.  Doesn’t work if I try it on a sentence in the middle of a paragraph.

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I think there is good reason for administration to allow a committee to express itself as it sees fit -- which may not be in the best interests of its aims. I trust that the administration is sophisticated enough to distill the salient points into the most helpful application while adopting some of the language in order to project its balanced attitude toward its  several audiences.

There might be, put it's still off putting.

In these situations I always think of something Dr. Phil used to say (I haven't watched him in more than a decade so it's dated) when some adult was talking about their kid or their spouse--about what was wrong with them or what the adult was doing that was right compared to the kid or the spouse--and they'd start throwing in therapy terms or psychological terms.  He would call them on it every time.  Not because the terms were wrong or they were using them wrong but because they were usually using the terms as a form of street cred.  Kind of an "obviously I know what I'm talking about and am right because I'm using the correct lingo) thing.  The thing was, the adult might be able to use the right terms, but it had absolutely no bearing on them doing the right things.

That's what I feel like BYU's thing is--an attempt to gain street cred by using the terms that society says must be used.  But the terms muddy the waters and have no real impact on the changes BYU is trying to make.  

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