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March 30, 2016


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D. Daniel Sokol

Gordon is a wonderful scholar and a deep thinker about institutional issues and innovation that a modern Dean must undertake. Since Gordon's more recent work focuses on entrepreneurship, I would note my support for him in his new job as an "up round" in BYU's valuation.

D. Versity

This is exactly what I would expect a Dean at BYU to look like.


BYU is very fortunate. Gordon was a wonderful colleague while on our faculty years ago - smart, generous, collaborative and hard-working. A real pleasure and privilege to have among us. Congratulations, Gordon!


D. Versity

Just imagine if you said that about the new Dean at Berkeley.

What a racist, sexist, religiously bigoted remark.


D. Versity

Anon at 9:35

I have never met Dean Smith so this is not a comment on him personally. I will point out that the new Dean at Berkeley looks very different from the last Dean at Berkeley, although I do not know them either, so they seem to be casting a wider net. I am concluding from the wikipedia list of past Deans at BYU that there has never been gender diversity or religious diversity, in the past Deans at BYU, and probably not racial diversity but they all do nit have pictures with them. I do not think it is bigoted to point that out.


Your entire approach is the definition of bigotry (a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices) and prejudice (unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding an ethnic, racial, social, or religious group).

You literally are still defending your superficial and odious judgment of this man ("This is exactly what I would expect a Dean at BYU to look like") and everyone who supported him.

Your defense indicated to me that you apparently judge everyone on the basis of your assessment of appearance: specifically, you prefer to see other races and genders than the one you see in that picture.

One suspects you are also bigot when it comes to religion, because you are making assumptions about which you clearly have NO information. That is the definition of prejudice ("I am concluding from the wikipedia list of past Deans at BYU that there has never been ... religious diversity, in the past Deans at BYU.")

Not that you are an exception in legal academia. It is very common to judge all books by their covers in the law academy, and to openly disparage white, middle aged males.

What a shame. An entire institution heavily influenced by prejudiced and bigoted people.

Think not, D. Versity? When was the last time you disparaged "old, white men." Have you thrown in some anti-Mormon smears for good measure?

I hear it all the time. D. Versity indeed. Seems more like group think that has taken a very very disgusting turn in recent years. For one, I think a comment that states: "This is exactly what I would expect a Dean at BYU to look like" is just as disgusting as a comment to the same effect about any other appointment at any other school.

D. Versity

Anon at 6:38 -- I will stand corrected if you can point me to one past BYU Law Dean who was not white, male and Mormon. So far you have not.


Wow. You really don't get it, do you? You're comment doubles down on your bigotry and prejudice.

The point, D. Versity, is that every Dean should not be judged by race, gender and religion. Your comment about this Dean's appearance sounded to me like a racist, prejudiced comment. Everything that you have written after that comment confirms this impression.

You obviously want to see a picture of someone who looks more like what you think a Dean should look like. You clearly state (by implication) that you don't think a new Dean at BYU should look "white male and Mormon."

This is the crazy Orwellian world legal academia has created. You think that anyone who doesn't believe that every book should be judged by its cover, and have the cover YOU prefer, is racist, anti-woman, etc. You turn reason on its head.

You see a photo of an accomplished person. No doubt, a person of good moral character, a good scholar, a good colleague, etc. Yet, all you see, thru your bigoted perception, is "white male and Mormon." That's all you can think of to say.

You then double down on your bigoted and prejudiced assessment of this person's appointment. You skim thru Wiki. You look at the "names" and look for "pictures." And then, you judge. BYU is racist! BYU discriminates against women! BYU is a bunch of Mormons who only appoint Mormons to be Dean!

Sorry, D. Versity. You sound like so many I hear every day: you complain incessantly about the groups and genders you believe should be marginalized and condemned (e.g., "middle aged white males") and you feel free to express your bigotry and prejudice freely under the guise of some self righteous banner of "D. Versity" and "equality." These words should be banned from your vocabulary, given your proclivities.

Just admit it, D. Versity. Only the cover of YOUR book would be acceptable to you.

D. Versity

Anon - I am not objecting to BYU having one white male Mormon dean one time. I am objecting to it never having anything but white male Mormon deans during its entire existence, and I am pointing out the most recent incidence of that trend. I suspect the trend will continue until more people point it out.


No, D. Versity, you are objecting because you don't like seeing a picture of a white male Mormon (again, so telling that you can discern this). You want to see only books with your preferred cover and titles. Everywhere. Always. With no exceptions.

Imagine someone looking at a picture of a book with a cover and title you prefer and saying, "Oh no, not another one!"

Don't cloak yourself in some pretense that you are fighting for racial, gender and religious equality by making bigoted, prejudiced, superficial observations. If you truly respected "middle aged white males" you would never have made such a bigoted, prejudiced remark, and you would not exhibit the sort of demeaning and disparaging attitude that you appear to apply to such "others" based on your perceptions of the proper allocation of resources based on racial, gender and religious identity (and probably sexual orientation and political beliefs as well).

You don't want to change the system, you just want to own it.

D. Versity

Anon - For the record, I am a white middle aged male. The group of which I am a part has done pretty well in terms of the allocation of resources historically. I really cannot complain about that from my own experience, but it does not seem entirely like a fair system.


D. Versity

I don't know anything about your racial, ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and I don't care what you say about it.

You are expressing a point of view. The notion that historically disadvantaged groups, when they find themselves in power, often emulate the very evil power structures that they railed against is not uncommon.

You are so fixated on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. that you can't see how consistently and steadfastly you refuse to deviate from the tired tropes that are ALWAYS used to justify bigotry and prejudice by bigots and prejudiced individuals. You can't hear the irony of your words, because you are so lost in your own dogma.

I'll conclude this "conversation" thusly: If you feel guilty that you have profited from an unfair system, then resign and make room for someone who has the book cover you prefer.


Wait: pointing out that a position has been occupied in perpetuity solely by members of one race, gender, and religious background is now racist and/or sexist and/or religious bigotry? Pointing out lack of diversity is now bigotry? While the original commentator certainly could have made the point in a more nuanced manner, that's an interesting definition of bigotry....


Wow. Anon's comment is an example of just how dense some can be when this whole line of argument comes up.

Some believe that every book should be judged by its cover and title, and that some believe that only the covers and titles that they believe are worthy (often regardless of content) should be chosen for positions of power and influence. Don't try to dress it up, after the fact, with tired tropes about lack of diversity. This is power politics, with some simply fighting to get privilege and power based on immutable characteristics like race and gender.

Here are the facts.

Blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans now constitute about a third of the population and a fifth of law school graduates.

Washington Post, May 27, 2015

“While African Americans are underrepresented in nearly every area of the legal profession, our selection committee was pleasantly surprised to learn this is not the case among leaders of our nation’s law schools. The American Bar Association currently lists 200 ABA-Approved law schools, of which 24 are headed by black deans — that’s 12 percent! You can find them on every rung of the law rankings ladder.”

The Power 100 Special Edition: The Deans, February 15, 2012

Female Deans Taking Charge
They make up 40 percent of incoming leadership.
Karen Sloan, The National Law Journal
June 22, 2015

Some will argue that without demonizing and marginalizing "middle aged white men" this progress could never have happened. I won't argue that advocacy was inappropriate to break down barriers. But, as the "anon" comment above demonstrates, it is obvious that there are plenty of "middle aged white men" in legal academia who believe that barriers should be broken.

What I object to is clearly bigoted and prejudiced persons who feel free to demonize "middle aged white males" and consider every one of them fair game and open to every sort of demeaning racist, sexist comment(e.g., attacking a person's appointment based on a picture, the very definition of racism and sexism, and including an attack later on his religion, based on looking at a picture: what kind of person does that?)

These zealots will continue to feel free to disparage and demean "middle aged white men" at will. They won't be done till every book appointed to their library - no, to every library everywhere - has the cover and title that they prefer, and every book that has a cover and title they reject is mocked, marginalized, demonized, etc. One doesn't expect these folks to have any understanding whatsoever of others, nor any sensitivity and sense of fairness.

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.


anon..take a chill pill. BTW, the book/cover analogy doesn't work....


anon looks at a picture of the new Dean at BYU and says, in effect, "Oh no, not another one!"

And, anon is not judging the book by its cover? (And, to boot, by implication accusing everyone at BYU of being racists and religious bigots. Nice.)

Your comment is typically haughty, condescending, complete with faux vernacular ("chill pill" really?) and a dismissive tone, but not very persuasive or well-reasoned.

Really? Is that comment supposed to be a "response" to any of the points above?

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