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Sunday, January 20, 2013

"They have to advertise for it"

Lots of Oregon websites, this blog included, linked the other day to the official solicitation by UC Nike for a new head football coach. It was utterly silly, because there's no way someone's going to get that job by answering a classified ad. And the charade is exposed even further today with reports that the identity of the new coach will be announced any minute.

What depressed us the most about these events was the reaction that a lot of readers had toward the job listing. "They have to do that, to say they were open to hiring a minority for the job." This observation was made with an air of pride -- the observers seemed quite pleased with their knowing the real reason behind the ad -- but it was also made without any trace of criticism that something is wrong.

It's a fitting subject for an Inauguration Weekend meditation. What a society we live in. The law requires that you seek out minority candidates for jobs and contracts. Quite often, there is no intention of that ever happening, but you must go through the motions of acting as though there is. Everyone will know you're faking it, but no one will call you out on it. The illusion of correctness is enough. You don't have to say you tried -- you can get by with saying you acted as if you tried.

UPDATE, 4:08 p.m.: The Eugene newspaper weighs in on the issue here.

Comments (7)

A wise observation, Jack.

But I would add many of our government functions require just such triumphs of form over substance.

It seems like at all levels, government agencies are far more concerned with the completion of some required hoop to jump thru, as opposed to the desired result.

Any experience with a city building permit department will quickly reinforce one's well founded cynicism.

It's the same the world over. Always has been. Since at least the time of the earliest "civilization." Deception & gullibility must be encoded into Homo sapiens sapiens. Just like psychosis. *It's faaaaanTAStic!*

Then there are the RFPs that state and local governments that are open to the public, but targeted to their favorite person.

"PDC is soliciting proposals to move millions of dollars from property owners to the West Hills. Developer must have experience with urban renewal and have a Pearl District theater named after himself."

"They have to do that, to say they were open to hiring a minority for the job."

According to the Oregonian a couple of years ago, Oregon is the only state with this law requiring minority recruitment for football coach and athletic director openings. I was one of the people who told you who the new coach was going to be. It was reported as Kelly left that he was leaving it to Helfrich. The law required the sham "interview." My sentiment about it was nothing beyond matter-of-fact.

If there is a place for greater "minority recruitment," it has to be well ahead of the Head Coach's departure. To mandate the procedure at that critical junction ensures it can be nothing but a formality.

Those sorts of formalities happen every day at all kinds of business and governmental operations, affection people of all sorts of colors, including white.

At least the guy "interviewing" in this case knew the deal. There's no way millions of people are ever going to get a job by answering a classified ad.

I was curious as to exactly how that portion of the law is worded. Here it is:

ORS 352.380 Affirmative Action Plan
(2) Each public university listed in ORS 352.002 (Oregon University system) shall:

(b) Interview one or more qualified minority applicants when hiring a head coach or athletic director, unless the public university was unable to identify a qualified minority applicant who was willing to interview for the position. It is an affirmative defense to a claim of a violation of this paragraph that the public university, in good faith, was unable to identify a qualified minority applicant who was willing to interview for the position.

Good intentions, or claims of good intentions, salve the (nonexistent, but claimed)moral pain of those who accuse others of raaaaacism.

Didn't Nick Saban find his current job on Craigslist?

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