Friday, September 2, 2016

Sen. Steve Nass berates UW for diversity training that business leaders want

GOP legislator creates fictional boogeymen that he believes are “indoctrinating” students at state’s flagship university

State Sen. Steve Nass is no friend to the University of Wisconsin. He’s also apparently not familiar with Google, because if he were he wouldn’t be making such outrageous claims against the state’s flagship university without doing the basic research beforehand.

Nass, a Republican from Whitewater, is upset about the UW spending money to train incoming students and staff about diversity.

Sensitivity towards students from different backgrounds is needed, as evidenced by several alarming events on the UW campus in the recent past. From Maggie Angst at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
After a series of concerning incidents last year — "war cry sounds" made during an American Indian healing circle, an anonymous note with racial threats made to a student of color and swastikas taped to a Jewish student's dorm room door — the university is trying to make the campus more inclusive and welcoming when classes resume next week.
But Nass sees it as unnecessary, labeling it as “forced political correctness” in a recent press release. “[I]t seems to be the standard opinion amongst UW System administrators that the people of Wisconsin are rednecks in need of cultural re-education,” he said (PDF), adding that the UW is suggesting that “families of this state have failed in raising their children, that they are culturally incompetent.”

Nass also went on record saying that UW System administrators “never lack money for advancing new and more sinister ways of liberal indoctrination of students.”

Of course, this sort of training isn’t anything like what Nass says it is. It is a far cry from “indoctrination” to teach people how to be aware of differences people at the UW have from one culture to another. Yet he is still skeptical about the need for graduating students to become more aware of a workplace that is more and more diverse. “I have never met a business person yet that alleges the people of Wisconsin are culturally incompetent employees,” he said.

And here’s where the basic Google search comes into play. Years ago, business leaders DID want a more diverse-friendly college campus in Madison. And when it was evident that was not what they were getting at UW, recruiters from major American companies were pulled from the university. From Pat Schneider of the Cap Times (Emphasis in bold added by me):
Diversity is good for business, which makes it an imperative for U.S. business schools, say Wisconsin School of Business administrators.

If the business school community does not have a mix of students, faculty and staff that can prepare students for a global economy, students will go somewhere else and so will business recruiters.

That has already happened at UW-Madison. A decade ago, big corporations like Procter & Gamble, General Motors and Alcoa stopped recruiting in Madison because of a lack of diversity among business school students.
It's clear that these businesses want more diversity. And with that, they want a more diverse-friendly workforce. The UW is preparing students for a more diverse business climate through trainings and other methods. But apparently Sen. Steve Nass doesn’t like that idea, nor does he get that businesses across the country want an inclusive mindset when it comes to diversity in the workforce.

It really makes you wonder: Does Steve Nass even care about university students’ needs -- and business needs -- in Wisconsin? Or is he simply motivated to go after perceived, fictional liberal boogeymen that live in his own mind?

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