Last week, readers of the National Post learned a couple of things about the condition of universities in Canada. First, according to Immigration Minister Marc Miller, foreign student enrollment had “gotten out of control.” Miller found it "disconcerting" that 900,000 foreign students are in Canada this year, three times as many as when the Liberals came to power in 2015.The impact of having next to no limitation on immigration has been felt in the universities insofar as they have responded by charging international students a lot more for tuition than they charge domestic ones. Even so, many universities are in a cash crunch, which is the second story covered by the National Post that same day.Queen’s University, which thinks highly of itself as a prestigious Canadian centre of higher learning, has attained a precarious financial condition. They have responded by chopping small undergraduate classes in Arts; small grad student classes are to follow next year. Faculty and staff layoffs are promised (at the University of Calgary only support staff have been fired so far — these are the people, mostly women, who actually keep the departmental administration running. It's not the professors). Queen’s has also "suspended” Fine Arts and imposed a widespread hiring freeze.The Faculty of Arts and Science, the core of the university, is especially hard hit since they have relatively few international students. The lion’s share of the latter attend the professional faculties — medicine, engineering and business — all of which are technical faculties peripheral to the purpose of a university.And that, the primary purpose of a university in case you have forgotten, is the pursuit of truth. Which is to say finding out new truths, which extends from the discovery of new stars to the discovery of unknown old civilizations sometimes literally buried in the past.One of the sources of useless expenditure at Queen’s, as at nearly every university in North America, is administrative bloat. Yet for some strange reason cutting administration is never seen as a way of reducing expenses.At the University of Calgary, emails daily announce a new administrative appointment or program that is even more peripheral to the purpose of a university than the business school.For example, we now boast a Student Wellness Centre as well as a Faculty of Medicine. In partnership with the Faculty of Arts, of which I am a member, we now sport ”a new part-time embedded Counsellor” to assist in providing mental health support.The purpose of the Student Wellness Service is to provide “peer navigation” among other things. The university also employs a mental health consultant and regularly conducts “free” workshops. They include “working mind training.”Normal people, including not a few of my colleagues who actually conduct research and teach students, wonder why the persons who undertake such activities as working mind and peer navigation are part of the university at all.But they are. And such meaningless activities are not alone. At the top of the tree of woke uselessness, as nearly everybody knows, perches the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion bureaucracy. As the whole world saw with the eventual firing of Claudine Gay from the presidency of Harvard, EDI appointees (sometimes called DIE or even IED appointees) tend to be fraudulent disasters. How else could an individual with a thin and effectively meritless scholarly record, which later turned out to be riddled with academic theft, be appointed to such a job? When the Harvard Corporation appoints her successor, we’ll see if they learned anything from the debacle.The fate of Gay has suggested to some observers the EDI is on the way out, particularly in its homeland, the United States.Critics point to a US Supreme Court decision that found both Harvard and the University of North Carolina had illegally discriminated by favouring one minority group over another. Whether such a decision could be reached by the Supreme Court of Canada is doubtful since a lot of jurisprudential water has flown under the bridge in support of “affirmative action.” Besides, universities are adept at finding work-arounds to flout court decisions and hide how they do it.Besides, it’s not just the mendacity of EDI that’s the problem; it’s the cost.At the University of Calgary, the EDI program is headed by a Vice Provost, a position that commands a salary far above that of a mere professor. The director of the EDI office is blessed with eleven assistants, most of whom have PhDs. They provide the university community with such essential features as EDI workshops, decolonization workshops, anti-racism workshops, intersectional lived experience workshops, disability studies workshops and person-centred methods workshops. Among other things.One of the “key accountabilities” of EDI at the University of Calgary is advocacy. Some of the advocacy is directed at the undergraduates and graduate students, with the assistance of the office of another Vice Provost, this one charged with administering “student experience.”If one thought student experience was, so far as university purview and purpose is concerned, limited to the classroom, think again. The EDI office does much, much more, starting with acknowledging and appreciating “the intersection of social identities, systems of oppression, and the discrimination connected to unequal distributions of power in general and [to] those within the university structures, hierarchies, and power relations.”The EDI office is not content simply to “advise” the university community and the “Executive” about their views and policies. Indeed, the office thinks it has responsibilities that extend far beyond the university. It “promotes and serves as a dedicated office for EDI within and outside our campus community to a broad spectrum of constituents.”In other words, whether they like it or not, members of the public are also targets for EDI missionary work. What began with wrecking the university will not stop there. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.But more to the point: the universities can begin dealing with their financial problems by extinguishing EDI office. No one, and I mean no one, would miss it.