Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's interesting to me how many organizations state their corporate beliefs regarding the importance of hiring and maintaining a diverse workforce. I have found this especially true of some of the more renowned institutions of higher education. However, upon close examination of the overall makeup of their faculty members, it appears, a priori, that many of these institutions employ a definition of diversity biased toward political correctness. In fact, it further appears that they generally recruit faculty members who present little authentic, substantive diversity at all. Many of them offer a varied racial and ethnic mix, represented by both sexes. Yet, in the areas of background and values, similarities rather than differences seem more prevalent. Specifically: other than as starving grad students, few faculty recruits I have observed appear to have known actual poverty. Some have worked only in academe, if at all, where they found employment in roles as teaching, research, or other types of graduate assistants. Others have typically served in management positions in business and in government services, often remaining only for an internship or for the minimum required term. Additionally, many generally lean toward the left in their political ideologies. Therefore, it appears that if these organizations truly desired to hire faculty members, researchers, consultants, or trainers possessing a diverse background from the norm, it would include people more like me.

I grew up in a single parent home, often wondering where the next meal would come from. I hated high school because of the bullying and the drama and I quit after the tenth grade. The next autumn I enrolled directly into junior college and majored in music, thereby establishing a broad-based humanities background. By the time of graduation, the administration at the college I attended had selected me for who's who, thereby identifying me as a person with the potential for success. Not having enough money to continue at an upper level institution, I enlisted in the US Navy. For over 16 years, I served at the operative level, either as a worker or as a technical supervisor. Consequently, I developed real experience, unclouded by social desirability bias, as to which leader and manager characteristics actually motivated me and other non-managers around me and which characteristics provided nothing more than so much fluff. While serving in the Navy I also earned a non-traditional, but accredited BS with a concentration in Sociology and a traditional MS in Management -- something I posit that most managers expect of other managers, but few expect of technicians and other workers in non-management positions. Additionally, while in the Navy, I developed curriculum and taught organizational effectiveness topics (Ed Schein's organizational culture, Nadler and Tushman's diagnosing organizational behavior, Kast and Rosenzweig's systems theory, as well as a host of others), using stand-up, face-to-face instruction, 8 hours per day, 3 to 5 days per week, for 4 or 5 weeks at a time. I also developed curriculum and taught nuclear engineering topics that included thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid flow, and nuclear physics, among others. Therefore, although I have not researched stochastic modeling or Bayesian forecasting, per se, if an institution needed for me to learn and teach these, I find it difficult to foresee any problems doing so. The remainder of my vita reveals a similarly varied background that has included providing stand-up instruction of: (a) project management topics to members of the US Internal Revenue Service and (b) team building concepts to members of the US Agency for International Development and for NGOs in Bulgaria, El Salvador, Kenya, Mozambique, and South Africa, among others. In my teaching roles I have consistently received stellar reviews from both my students and my supervisors. I have additionally served as a successful project manager, account representative, sales manager, real estate broker, and VP of Operations. Politically, I am conservative and I find freedom more important than security. Of all of the other candidates seeking a position, who else brings this breadth of diversity?



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