College Presidents’ Views on Racial Preferences

A survey of college presidents discussed today in Inside Higher Education found that “only 70 percent of campus leaders agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that consideration of race in admissions has had a ‘mostly positive effect on higher education generally,’ and only 58 percent said the use of race in admissions has had ‘a mostly positive effect on education’ at their institutions.” The article notes that the sizeable minority out of “lockstep” with the diversity mantra is in contrast with the public statements and briefs of schools.  

But other surveys have also found surprisingly strong support for nondiscrimination even among academics (to say nothing of the general population). And, as I said in my quote in the article, the relatively low positive response in the survey is probably too high, since presidents are more likely to dissemble about supporting racial preferences than about not supporting them. What’s more, the question was phrased in a way to reinforce the social correctness of a positive response, and more presidents were “generally” positive than positive vis-à-vis “at my institution” — that is, the more they knew about the effect of racial preferences, the less likely they were to support them.

One broader point: To justify racial discrimination in higher education as a legal matter, there have to be “compelling” reasons for it. How compelling can those reasons be if a sizable minority of college presidents don’t view the discrimination as having positive effects at all? Not to mention the fact that most schools don’t use preferences at all — since they are nonselective or are in states that have banned them.

Most Popular


Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More