The Corner

Diversity

It’s restricted to subscribers, but The Chronicle of Higher Education has an important report today on a new study of campus diversity, to be published in the Spring issue of The Public Interest. The study, conducted by respected sociologists Stanley Rothman, Seymour Martin Lipset, and Neil Levitte, shows that the more “diversity” a college or university has, the more dissatisfied its students, professors, and administrators are with the quality of education. Instead of simply asking respondents how they felt about diversity, and getting the usual politically correct answers, these researchers took a different tack. They correlated the number of black students at a given college or university with opinions about the quality of education. So, for example, as the number of black students on campus increased, professors were more likely to criticize the work habits of students.

The new diversity study could have a major effect on the University of Michigan affirmative action case, currently before the Supreme Court. Michigan is relying on some flimsy studies that purport to show the educational value of diversity. This new research should blow those studies out of the water. And by the way, if poor student work habits are correlated with higher percentages of minority students on campus, it’s not because of any inherent inability in minorities–it is a function of admitting people who are not otherwise qualified, simply because of their race and ethnicity.

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