Return of the JEDI

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Good news from the University Near Here: Vyas Earns Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award from NASPA. Specifically:

Yashwant Prakash Vyas, director of UNH’s Aulbani J. Beauregard Center for Equity, Justice, and Freedom and adjunct faculty of management in the Paul College of Business and Economics, was recognized with the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Award for Region 1 from NASPA at its 2023 annual conference in Portland, Maine.

Vyas was also appointed to NASPA’s inaugural Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Division Leadership Council


“Yashwant is truly an exceptional agent for change. He continues to demonstrate an unwavering dedication to advancing equity and inclusion in higher education through his work,” says Nadine Petty, chief diversity officer and associate vice president for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “NASPA is lucky to have him on their JEDI Leadership Council as I am sure he has much to offer.”


  • Yes, Yashwant is on the JEDI Council. Watch out, all you Sith down there in Durham!

  • Even though the JEDI acronym is defined in the article, what's NASPA stand for? I mean, besides equity, etc.? It turns out that NASPA is like AARP, it used to be an acronym ("National Association of Student Personnel Administrators"), now it's not.

  • NASPA is not shy about its 100% wokeness. The cover story on the latest issue of their magazine is "Advancing Racial Justice On Campus: 10 Key Conditions for Change". You need to subscribe to see it, but the first paragraph is just visible:

    Advancing racial justice on campus to ensure better outcomes for students from racially and ethnically minoritized populations is at the forefront of countless student affairs administrators’ minds. That work has become increasingly difficult in an environment where justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts are politicized and under constant scrutiny at the federal and state level. However, the work has also become increasingly important against the backdrop of the June 2023 U.S. Supreme Court case banning the use of race in admissions in higher education. Students are seeking reassurance from institutions and institutional leadership that they intend to create and maintain supportive campus environments for students from racially minoritized and ethnically groups.

    Yes, "ethnically groups". And I note that "minoritized" hasn't made it into my spellchecker yet. Although Googling reveals it to be yet another term of art for the DEI hucksters.

  • Also at the NASPA website is their statement on Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College: The headline is "NASPA Condemns SCOTUS Decision on Race-Conscious Admissions". Of course it does.

  • Back to that short UNH article, "equity" appears 16 times; diversity also 16; inclusion is included 17 times!

  • "Freedom" only shows up once, however, in the full title of Yashwant's organization: "The Aulbani J. Beauregard Center for Equity, Justice, and Freedom".

  • The AJBCfEJaF Center doesn't seem to actually do much. There's a "Programs & Events" heading on their page, but there's nothing under it. The most recent post on their Facebook page is from May 2023. The link to Instagram on that page is a no-workie.

I previously wrote on Vyas here. (The occasion was a different award from NASPA.) At the time, I said that he seemed like a nice guy. He still does.

But, really, the whole DEI infrastructure at UNH seems like a grift. And it's part of a nationwide grift, dedicated to producing tedious word salads, stoking grievances, holding meetings, and giving each other awards. I wish it were gone.

Also of note:

  • But does not weaken the discomfiters. Jacob Sullum on that SCOTUS case we're all crossing our fingers about: The Chevron Doctrine Discomfits the Weak.

    In two cases the Supreme Court is considering, herring fishermen in New Jersey and Rhode Island are challenging regulatory fees they say were never authorized by Congress. Critics of those lawsuits misleadingly complain that the sympathetic plaintiffs are "providing cover" for a corporate attempt to "disable and dismantle" environmental regulations.

    These cases ask the justices to reconsider the Chevron doctrine, which requires judicial deference to an administrative agency's "reasonable" interpretation of an "ambiguous" statute. While big businesses might welcome the doctrine's demise, so should anyone who cares about due process, the rule of law, and an independent judiciary, which are especially important in protecting "the little guy" from overweening executive power.

    Maybe you should not take my word for that, since I work for a magazine whose publisher, Reason Foundation, has received financial support from organizations founded by Charles Koch, chairman of the petrochemical company Koch Industries. The New York Times describes Koch as the "hidden conservative backer" of the New Jersey case, which involves lawyers employed by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity.

    In NYTland, Koch has long been their Emmanuel Goldstein. And if Koch is for it, obviously we need not consider the merits. It's self-evident that it's perfidious.

  • Something I've noticed myself. Judge Glock (his real name) in the WSJ observes: The Welfare State Robs Peter to Pay Peter.

    The American welfare state is built on the idea of taxing those who are better off to give to those who are in need. Yet in today’s massive welfare state, many who receive benefits from the government also pay substantial taxes.

    New research by the Manhattan Institute analyzes the amount of government benefits that are offset by taxes on the same households in the same year. The report estimates that about 20% of government benefits are returned to the government through taxes. That means that in 2022 almost $800 billion—or roughly what the government spent on defense—went out one door and in another.

    My own case is pertinent.

    • For a few years, Uncle Stupid has been putting monthly money in my bank account.
    • Also for a few years, I send Uncle Stupid money from my bank account every quarter. (Estimated tax.)
    • And once a year, I either send him more money, or he sends me some.
    • I have no idea which one of us comes out ahead. I hope it's me, but ‥

    It's real money, I know. But it's as inefficient as all get out.

    It does keep a lot of bureaucrats employed. And keeps getting politicians elected, claiming they're doing us a favor.

  • Thanks a lot, Iowa. Charles C. W. Cooke wonders: Now What?.

    So now what? I ask that earnestly, not rhetorically. Last night, Donald Trump won the Iowa caucus. There seems little chance that Trump will stall out going forward, which means that he is almost certain to win the Republican nomination, which means that the already small chance of Joe Biden voluntarily stepping aside will disappear, which means that we are going to get another Biden vs. Trump election. How, some observers have asked, could we possibly be destined to have yet another presidential contest that a supermajority of voters so obviously wishes to avoid? Well, this is how: Ignoring all the warning signs, the parties have arranged a repeat. The rest of us will have to live with it.

    The less attractive the candidates are revealed to be, the more hysterical the entreaties on their behalf seem to grow. Already, I see an enormous amount of cajoling and haranguing. Biden’s fans insist that voters are obliged to cast a ballot for their man, lest American democracy perish. Trump’s fans insist that we have a “binary” choice between their hero and American decline. By November, these refrains will hit fever pitch. We will be told to unite, to coalesce, and to submit; to get on the train, to join the team, to enroll in the program. “Do it, do it, do it!” is set to be the official slogan of 2024.

    But I won’t. I won’t “do it.” And nor, I suspect, will a lot of other people. Businesses that offer terrible products deserve to go out of business. Parties that offer terrible candidates deserve to lose. The Republicans know what the country thinks of Donald Trump. They know who Donald Trump is. And yet, inexplicably, they are in the process of choosing him nevertheless. They, like the Democrats, must face the consequences of that choice.

    I'm with you, Charlie.

  • I thought you guys were supposed to be Hawkeyes. George Will is also pretty disgusted: Iowa nudged the nation closer to a revolting rematch next fall.

    A small minority of Iowa’s tiny minority (0.96 percent) of the U.S. population has spoken. Next week, a portion of New Hampshire’s 0.42 percent will speak. By Feb. 24, when South Carolina (1.63 percent) will be heard from, these three states might have consigned the other 97 percent of Americans to a November choice that disgusts a whopping majority.

    Writing in National Affairs, Wheaton College political scientists Bryan T. McGraw and Timothy W. Taylor say that in 2016, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump “had the lowest favorability of any candidates in presidential polling history.” Eight years later, a Biden-Trump rematch probably would establish a new low.

    Iowa gave Trump the outcome he probably wanted. The icing on his Iowa cake — he won 97 of 99 counties by at least 10 points — was Nikki Haley’s failure to finish off Ron DeSantis’s campaign. The former South Carolina governor might have done this if 2,500 more voters had propelled her past him into second place, which would have bolstered her claim that it is now a two-person race.

    It actually is. Her chance of stopping Trump is substantially better than that of DeSantis, whose mistaken assumption has been that the Republican nominating electorate wants a less feral, more pastel version of Trump. This electorate wants a brawler, which DeSantis is, but it will not embrace a less entertaining incarnation of today’s political tribalism.

    I love and admire GFW, but I'm afraid the nationwide Trump/Haley/DeSantis nationwide polling doesn't look too different from the Iowa results or the NH/SC polling.

  • Francis Collins channels Emily Litella. "Never mind." From National Review: Francis Collins Admits Covid Origin Hypothesis Not a Conspiracy.

    Dr. Francis Collins testified before the House about his role as the National Institutes of Health director during the Covid-19 pandemic, echoing Dr. Anthony Fauci’s recent testimony on social-distancing guidelines, gain-of-function research, and the lab-leak theory.

    Collins agreed with Fauci that the six-foot social-distancing recommendation was likely not based on any scientific data, despite the policy being heavily promoted by federal health officials during the pandemic, the GOP-led House Select Coronavirus Subcommittee revealed Saturday morning.

    But what's really galling:

    During his own transcribed interview, Collins agreed with Fauci’s admission that the lab-leak hypothesis is not a conspiracy theory after all, despite trying to disprove it with the March 2020 “Proximal Origin” scientific paper. Collins also acknowledged Fauci invited him to attend the February 1, 2020 conference call that prompted the writing of Nature Medicine’s “Proximal Origin” publication.

    To make a point I (and many others) have made many (many, many) times before: Collins and Fauci with all their wolf-crying, did real damage to both the country and (perhaps worse) the credibility of science.