DYSTOPIA–Achieving greater student diversity will be one of Dystopia College’s goals for the near future, President Overly Payeed-Admyn said today.
Although increasing diversity in race, ethnicity, and culture, as well as socioeconomic status and gender/sexual orientation, are “certainly included” in the goal, Payeed said, the primary focus will be on degree of academic competence.
The student body of the college is about 75% white, Payeed said, but that’s a significant improvement over the 80% figure from a few years back. The largest minority is African American, but students of Asian, Hispanic, and Native American backgrounds are also represented. International students, who are attracted to Dystopia primarily “when they can’t get into anywhere else,” also add to the college’s cultural mix. (Statistics about gender and sexuality are less readily available “for obvious reasons,” he said.)
In terms of academic competence, however, the college “still has some work to do,” Payeed said. “We have plenty of incompetent and marginally competent students,” he explained, “but we still have a pretty significant shortage of smart, capable people in the Dystopia family.” He said he thinks the problem is the result of more competent students having the attitude that they should “go to a real college,” and that’s a perspective that the college must work to change.
Asked whether the college is also working to increase the diversity of faculty and staff members, Payeed said, yes, but “it’s a slower process,” because faculty join a college community “just a few at a time,” whereas, with students, “you get a big group all at once.”
He said the degree of racial/ethnic diversity among faculty is much greater in some areas than others, with the humanities and business disciplines a bit bit less diverse than STEM. He said that most members of the faculty are “at least marginally competent,” but he would really like to see a larger percentage of “collegial and compliant” faculty, preferably “without too many opinions.”
As for socioeconomic diversity among faculty, “there isn’t really any,” Payeed said, unless the distinction between full-time and part-time faculty is taken into account. “If you do that, Payeed, “our full-time faculty are only moderately poor,” whereas most part-timers are “living well below the poverty line.”
Changing that situation is not part of the goal, Payeed said, “unless the state suddenly decides to quadruple our funding,” which is “considerably less likely than hell freezing over.”
Does it bother him at all that he is making twice as much as the President of the United States whereas many part-time faculty members can’t afford to eat at a fast-food restaurant?
“No, not really,” Payeed said. “I mean, if they aren’t satisfied working here, they can just find a job somewhere else. It’s a free country.”
T. Allen Culpepper