Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

US Civil Rights Commission Considers the Mismatch Theory


Inside Higher Ed has a piece today on the US Civil Rights Commission’s recent hearing on the mismatch theory with regard to racial preferences in higher ed.

To me, the most interesting part is the pro-preferences statement by an IBM executive that makes it sound as though there would be no minority science grads without affirmative action. That’s not the case, of course. All affirmative action does is to steer a few of the minority students who would otherwise have attended good universities into the elite ones. If IBM really thinks that having a “diverse” workforce is essential, all it would need to do in the absence of racial preferences is recruit at some of the non-elite schools. Students can learn science and math just as well at, say. North Carolina State as at Harvard.

And is it really true that global diversity demands an ethnically diverse workforce here? Whatever their ancestry, Americans are still Americans. If IBM needs some particular expertise in dealing with Angolans or Peruvians, it needs to hire people with that expertise.

I have long been skeptical about this business cave-in. The Japanese are exceedingly good at doing global business, yet are not “diverse” at all.  


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