Saturday, December 04, 2004

So what do you mean by Diversity?

The other day at school I picked up a copy of National Jurist magazine, and noticed that they had ranked the majority of lawschools according to diversity. The rankings looked at the number of racial minorities and women in each school over the past number of years. Schools with more women and minorities that were increasing in number were ranked higher on the scale.

Not suprisingly, BYU, Utah and Geoge Mason were practically last in rankings. However, some schools, which I expected to be at the bottom of the list were praised for their diversity. Most notably, All-Black schools and colleges, where nearly 90% of the faculty and students are black, were ranked at the very top. As to how such schools could be called diverse struck me as odd.

The initial impotus for promoting diversity was to get people from different backgrounds and ideologies together to exchange ideas, and that such interchange provides for a more rich education. However, this doesn't seem to be the reason anymore. It is blatantly clear that the push for diversity, is not to bring in different voices into the classroom, but different races.

In fact, it is typically the administrators and faculty that are praising the merits of diversity are the ones who are stifling the growth of ideological diversity. Study after study has shown that campus faculties are overwhelmingly liberal. In addition, there are numerous reports and documentaries highlighting how consertive students often feel intimidated to share their views, fearing the professors will publicly mock them and privately adjust their grades.

Here's a few lines from a great article in the Economist:

Academia is simultaneously both the part of America that is most obsessed with diversity, and the least diverse part of the country. On the one hand, colleges bend over backwards to hire minority professors and recruit minority students, aided by an ever-burgeoning bureaucracy of “diversity officers”. Yet, when it comes to politics, they are not just indifferent to diversity, but downright allergic to it.

The growth of conservitive think-tanks is partly a result of conservative academics leaving academia because the system was loaded against them.

If administrators where really concerned with diversity as a means of improving education, they would emphasize ideological diversity, not just racial diversity. David Horowitz, a conservative "provacatuer" has proposed an Academic Bill of Rights that would prohibit school administrators from punishing faculty for their ideologies. Whether this is a proper solution remains to be seen, but the system does need some change. Real change might be too much to ask from the liberal, "sybolism over substance" crowd, where admitting left leaning racial minorities solely based on their race lets them use PC words like "diversity" and envelopes the campus into a haven of leftis ideology. "As for the university establishment, leftists are hardly likely to relinquish their grip on one of the few bits of America where they remain in the ascendant."


At 10:18 AM, Blogger DCDuck said...

Great post man...great post.


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