Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Harvard’s folly

Heather McDonald skewers Harvard’s pledge of $50 million for faculty "diversity" efforts, penance for President Lawrence Summers’s public mention of sex differences in cognition. She writes: "The university would have been better off hiring a top-notch conjuror, since only magic could produce a trove of previously undiscovered female and minority academic stars suitable for tenuring." And her last paragraph: "The aristocratic ease with which Harvard has just dumped $50 million down a bureaucratic sinkhole tells you all you need to know about why attending Harvard for eight months costs more than most families earn in a year. Eventually, students and parents may start asking why anyone would want to."

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This point is well-taken. The current annual pools of Ph.D.s in "hard science" and math just don’t allow universities to enlarge either female or (protected) minority faculty in any appreciable way. The only way for universities to become more "diverse" in this regard is a form of ghettoization -- squeezing out white males in such areas as education, social sciences, and humanities (where the pools of women/minorities allow expansion) and filling them with women and minorities. True, the university would be more "diverse" in a demographic sense, but in every other way it would be less diverse, more stratified, and increasingly balkanized.

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