Phi Beta Cons

College Leaders Out of Step with Most Americans on Preferences

Progressives have been doing a little victory dance following the Supreme Court’s feeble decision to uphold the University of Texas in its racially preferential admissions policy. But they might stop dancing if they looked at a recent Gallup poll on that subject. Shockingly, about 70 percent of the public thinks that race should not be an important factor and that schools should instead focus on academic merit. That was true for blacks and Hispanics as well, although to a lesser degree.

I comment on this in my latest SeeThru article.

One bit of spin the Gallup people try to put on this inconvenient finding is to say that perhaps the public just doesn’t understand the importance of “diversity” as much as college leaders do. My rejoinder is that most of the public simply doesn’t believe the excuse that “diversity” is crucial to education. Another possibility is that most of the population has truly “moved on past race” and the obsession with it lingers in certain quarters such as college presidencies.




George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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