preference

“Diversity” Is Now Required At UCLA

After rejecting several previous proposals over the past several years, the UCLA faculty has finally succumbed to politically correct pressure from above (Eugene Block, the Chancellor, and other administrators) and below (“progressive” students) and voted to impose a four-unit “diversity” course requirement on all undergraduates. Ironically, the felt necessity for this new course requirement reveals […]

Read More

“Diversity” in College Sports

A new report from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, Black Male Student-Athletes and Racial Inequities in NCAA Division I College Sports, points with horror at the “racial inequities” in big-time college sports, finding it “shocking” and “astonishing” that college leaders, the NCAA, and the public at large have “accepted as normal the […]

Read More

The Sixth Circuit Undermines Affirmative Action

On November 6 the voters of Oklahoma, following in the footsteps of voters in California (1996), Washington (1998), Michigan (2006), Nebraska (2008), and Arizona (2010), passed  a constitutional amendment that prohibits the state from offering “preferred treatment” or engaging in discrimination based on race, color, gender, or ethnicity. On November 15 eight of the fifteen […]

Read More

An Unusually Stupid Court Ruling

Yesterday the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Michigan’s Proposal 2 violates the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.  Proposal 2 was a ballot initiative that amended the state constitution to provide that state and local government agencies (including public universities) in Michigan “shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment […]

Read More

Why Size Matters in College Preferences

By Stuart Taylor, Jr. and Richard Sander Even for people who approve in principle of some use of racial preferences in university admissions — notably including Justice Anthony Kennedy — the size of the preferences, and of the resulting racial gaps in academic performance in college and beyond, should matter a great deal.  So it’s […]

Read More

Fisher and “Diversity”: The More Things Change…

Browsing through the collection of over 70 pro-“diversity” amicus briefs submitted on behalf of the University of Texas in the Fisher case, I am reminded, as I often am, of how eerily the current defense of “taking race into account,” i.e., preferential treatment based on race, resembles the old Southern arguments in defense of segregation. […]

Read More

The Anti-Defamation League Reverses Course on Affirmative Action

In explaining why the American Jewish Committee had (with his help) supported Alan Bakke’s lawsuit against the University of California but also supported the University of Michigan’s racial preferences in Gratz and Grutter, Alan Dershowitz wrote that We feared that our hard-earned right to be admitted on the merits would be taken away. The WASP […]

Read More

The Affirmative Action Zealots Have Won: Time to Surrender

For a half century I’ve vehemently opposed racial preferences in higher education. Opposition was partially ideological–I believe in merit–and partly based on sorrowful firsthand experience with affirmative action students and faculty. Though my principles remain unchanged I am now ready to concede defeat, throw in the towel and raise the white flag. Abolishing racial preferences […]

Read More

Stereotype Threat Coming to the Supreme Court

Get ready for a brand new defense of affirmative action that you’ve never heard before: preferences are necessary to assure selection by merit. How can that be? Simple. Just rework Claude Steele’s theory of stereotype threat–that minorities do less well on tests than their abilities warrant out of fear that their performance will confirm negative […]

Read More

Diversity Training: Useless but Mandatory

Cross-posted from Open Market. Diversity training doesn’t work, according to an article in Psychology Today. In it, Peter Bregman notes, “Diversity training doesn’t extinguish prejudice. It promotes it.” But don’t expect it to stop. Government regulations often require that a school be accredited, a condition that accreditors like the American Bar Association use to force […]

Read More

“Diversity” Takes More Lumps

“Diversity,” as everyone surely knows by now, is the sole remaining justification for racial preference in higher education allowed by the Supreme Court. Defenders seem to regard it as even more essential to a good education than books in the library or professors behind the podium. But a funny thing has been happening on the […]

Read More

The “Mismatch Thesis,” Eye-Opening Research, and the Fisher Case

As the most important higher-education case in a decade makes its way to the Supreme Court–the Fisher case on racial preferences–UCLA law professor Richard Sander had an excellent series of posts at the Volokh Conspiracy summarizing one critical argument that his research has helped to highlight: that even the ostensible beneficiaries often are harmed (or […]

Read More

Admission Standards and How to Lower Them Legally

Surprise, surprise. Affirmation action for college admissions is yet one more time in the hands of the Supreme Court (Fisher v. Texas). Given the Court’s changed personnel from the last go around (Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 2003), race-based preferences may soon be history. But, would this judicial outcome finally doom preferences? Opponents of […]

Read More

What Will the Court Do About Affirmative Action?

As you probably know by now, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Fisher v. Texas, depending on your point of view a promising or threatening challenge to affirmative action. Major and minor media, blogs, whatever, are all filled with cries of hope or wails of fear that the racial preferences sanctified in Grutter will […]

Read More

Let’s Be Frank about Anti-Asian Admission Policies

On February 2 Daniel Golden, former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of a highly regarded book on college admissions, reported in Bloomberg’s Business Week that Harvard and Princeton are being investigated by the Dept. of Education’s Office for Civil Rights for discrimination against Asians. It’s not the first time. In fact, for the past […]

Read More

Four College Buzzwords and a Shameless Plug

These days, the agenda of the academic elite can be boiled down to a few liberal buzzwords. The most important buzzword is “diversity,” which is usually nothing more than a code word for reverse discrimination and skin-deep identity politics. Recently, at Northwestern, they held a “race caucus” where 150 people gathered to discuss their experiences […]

Read More

The NAS & Keeton: Opposition to Preferences Must Be Consistent

NAS president Peter Wood has defended the organization’s handling of the Jennifer Keeton case, which I have criticized on both legal and, more recently, policy grounds. Though I strongly sympathize with the general ideals of NAS, the organization’s off-base position on Keeton, which Wood’s essay reaffirms, has ended its heretofore consistent–and commendable–resistance to on-campus preferences.

Read More

The Days of Legacy Admissions May Be Numbered

In a recent essay in Minding the Campus, blogger John S. Rosenberg argued that I was too tough on legacy preferences and not tough enough on affirmative action in college admissions.  In my support for class-based affirmative action, he says, I’m not sufficiently outraged about racial preferences.  And in arguing that legacy preferences are illegal […]

Read More

Are Legacy Preferences Illegal?

Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation is well known for his relentless, articulate, well-researched arguments that affirmative action should be based on class, not race. My reaction to these arguments is usually rather tepid. I find Kahlenberg’s arguments compelling only insofar as he also criticizes race-based preferences, and his criticism of them usually doesn’t go very […]

Read More

What the Madison Confrontation Reveals

Most observers have framed the recent disruption by backers of racial and ethnic preferences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a free-speech conflict. Free speech is clearly involved but lying below the surface are three issues that warrant close attention, specifically how Wisconsin once handled “inclusion;” how the protest reflects the transformation of the idea […]

Read More

Preferences for Homosexuals?

Elmhurst College, in what is apparently a first, will ask this question on its admissions application:  “Would you consider yourself a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community?”  Answering the question will be optional; applicants may chose “yes” or “no” or “prefer not to answer.”  Those answering yes to the LGBT question will […]

Read More

A Desperate Defense of Affirmative Action

The American Scholar is the official journal of the Phi Beta Kappa Society — the college honorary society– and like The New York Times and The New York Review of Books, its focus is highbrow and its writing quality generally of a high order.  Also like the Times and the NYRB, when dealing with current political […]

Read More

A Reluctant Vote for Legacies

Legacy preferences have come under increased scrutiny of late, as well they should. Most elite colleges and universities, including all the Ivies, grant legacy preferences, just as they all grant special consideration — and lowered admission standards — for recruited athletes, blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans. They also give huge boosts to the sons and […]

Read More

The Fifth Circuit Broadens Racial Preferences

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit not only upheld racial preferences in college admissions decisions on Jan. 18 but upheld them with a vengeance. The Fifth Circuit’s three-judge panel unanimously agreed, in Fisher vs. University of Texas at Austin, that UT’s flagship campus in Austin could consider an applicant’s race and ethnicity […]

Read More

Do Rich, White Protestants Have a Big Edge in Admissions?

Just how much are “legacies” – students with family ties to graduates – granted an edge in admissions to the most elite institutions in the United States? Until recently, the answer to this question, based on relatively simple analyses of acceptance rates of legacies and non-legacies, had been fairly settled. Legacies, according to the best […]

Read More