Doubletalk at the University of Oregon


Like so many other academic institutions, The University of Oregon is twisting itself into a pretzel, trying to reconcile preferences for certain groups with the legal requirements of non—discrimination. It took UO a reported 5 year effort by a group of 70 people to announce that, among other things, its new "diversity" [doubletalk alert] policy would enforce a

"demonstrable commitment to cultural competency" in tenure and post—tenure reviews.

"Cultural competency" is another term requiring a doubletalk alert. Despite all the effoert put inot its policy, it is undefined. Of course, the president of the university, one Dave Frohnmayer, says

"To me it means that we are able to effectively reach all of the students who have demonstrated their competence to be in the university but for whom, because of cultural background, traditional techniques of teaching may not be as effective as others," he said. "A good teacher is always open, I hope, to ways to increase teaching effectiveness."

This is pathetically self—contradictory. The students have demonstrated a "competence" to be in the university, but they haven't the competence to learn there in