UC Berkeley’s new Vice Chancellor of Equity details emotional toll of her $325,000 salary job

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Dania Matos, the new Vice-Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion at UC Berkeley, spoke about the emotional toll of her $325,000 per year job during a recent interview with The Skimm.

On the job for about a month at the time of the interview, Matos explained she been “spending time meeting and learning about the work of our students, faculty, staff, and campus partners,” and that she has been “holding informal and formal listening sessions focused on truth-telling, trust, and transformation.”

Matos described her efforts as “DEIBJ work” — which stands for “diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice” — and stated, “My identity is Latina, first born, raised by a single mom. Those all shape the way I explore and see the world, how I shape it, and how it intersects when I’m in community with others.”

When asked about the toughest part of her job, Matos dropped this heart-wrenching reply: “I am up against a lot of systems of power that are bigger than myself. It takes a little bit out of you. When you’re battling injustices, systemic oppression, racism, sexism – all those things – your heart breaks into a million pieces. I have to pick all those pieces up and put my heart back together every single time.”

All of which comes as somewhat of a surprise, given that UC Berkeley is a bastion of left-wing ideology where inclusion and group-think are celebrated.

To cope with her role of “dismantling systems of oppression,” as The Skimm characterized her job, Matos said, “What has been helpful to me is practicing mindfulness breathing.”

Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and resident expert on critical race theory, cited another social media user to note that her income “is significantly more than the average salary of a family physician.”

“It’s not cheap to provide DEI-BJ services to an entire university campus,” he added:

Not only is it expensive, apparently the talent pool for “diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice” experts is so thin that California had to reach across the continental U.S. to secure its first-ever superintendent of equity.

Daniel Lee is one of the highest-paid officials in the state’s Department of Education, hired to “address persistent inequities in the nation’s largest school population,” Politico reported.

The problem being that Lee lives in Philadelphia and has a separate job there, according to the political news outlet, which said his hiring “appears to flout California policy, which allows few exceptions for a state employee to live elsewhere.”

“Lee, a psychologist, life coach and self-help author, owns a Pennsylvania-based psychology firm and is the president of the New Jersey Psychological Association’s executive board,” Politico reported. “He has also been serving as a deputy superintendent for the California Department of Education since July 2020, a role dedicated to the success of children of color that was originally backed by a foundation grant but is now funded by state taxpayers.”

The article said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was instrumental in the hiring and “has known Lee for more than two decades since they were social workers in Philadelphia and included Lee in his wedding party.” Politico also reported that Lee was initially hired with no public posting of the job “that now pays up to $179,832,” and has no job experience in California or relationships with school districts in the state.

Tom Tillison


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