Phi Beta Cons

Accreditation, Part II: Gail Heriot’s Take

Professor Gail Heriot, who moonlights as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, had an excellent Wall Street Journal op-ed this week that made two important points.  The first is that the “mismatch” that results from racial preferences in university admissions is an important factor in the relative dearth of African American graduates in the STEM disciplines.  The second is that, while some of the pressure to use these preferences is self-imposed, a lot of it is not — and, in particular, much of it comes from accrediting agencies.

She calls on Sen. Lamar Alexander and Reps. John Kline and Virginia Foxx — “congressional Republican leaders involved in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this fall” — to step up to the plate and “prohibit[] accreditors from wading into student-body diversity issues.”  She notes that Sen. Alexander knows about this problem and, indeed, helped resist the politically correct accreditors when he was Secretary of Education. 

Those interested in more information about what Congress should do can read Professor Heriot’s additional words of wisdom here and here.

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