Colleges and universities are approaching the speed of light in their race to establish high-profile administrative positions devoted to promoting diversity and inclusion within their institutions.
Now, Yale University has taken this competition to the next level. It has just created the position of Vice Provost for Integrating into Yale University the Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Yale University (VPIYUAPDIYU).
According to Yale President Peter Salovey, “the need for this new position became clear when our recently appointed Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion complained that she was being treated as a token by other high-level administrators. They seldom involved her in substantive decision-making, and she was never invited when the group got together for their Wednesday night bowling league or the ‘Blue Blazer Happy Hour’ at Applebee’s on the third Friday of every month during the academic year.
“This type of isolation violates the core spirit of our diversity/inclusion initiatives, and it must cease. Our new VPIYUAPDIYU, Professor Braden O’Leary, is the friendliest, most gregarious white guy you’ll ever meet, and his extensive social network throughout campus is unrivalled. The Associate Provost will be in good hands with Braden. She’ll receive more invitations to wine-and-cheese receptions than she’ll know what to do with.” [O’Leary holds the Marriott Endowed Chair in Yale’s Hospitality and Tourism Department (formerly the Ph.D. Program in English).]
Yale is well-known for creating innovative administrative roles to meet emerging challenges in higher education. In February 2021 it established the position of Assistant Dean for Chua Affairs. The Assistant Dean’s sole responsibility is to keep Yale Law Professor Amy Chua — the controversial, photogenic author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother — out of trouble and a safe distance away from “Dancing with the Stars.”