The College Fix presents a roundup of the top scandals, screw-ups, and stupid decisions involving college campuses.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed people of all races should be treated equally. This week, universities across the country celebrated Dr. King’s legacy by routinely disparaging his views and defending explicit and institutional racism on college campuses in the form of affirmative action. But first…
3). The University of Chicago announced that it is forming an Institute of Politics to prepare students for careers in policy, public service, and politics. The website thrice notes the institute will be non-partisan–a curious fact that some people will have trouble believing, given the person running the place is David Axelrod: President Obama’s top campaign operative. Still, Chicago College Republicans President Stephen Sunderman is buying it:
“This is an exciting opportunity that will bring multiple political views front and center on campus through stimulating speakers and fruitful debate.”
Yeah, I bet.
2). An unsurprising but nevertheless ironic op-ed by Columbia University President Lee Bollinger argued for continuing racist affirmative action policies, and for reinstating them in states where they are no longer practiced:
When universities are granted the freedom to assemble student bodies featuring multiple types of diversity and possess the resources to support “need blind” admissions with full financial aid, the result is a highly sought-after learning environment that attracts the best students.
Unfortunately, some of the best students are subsequently rejected, because they have to contend with applicants who are awarded admission based on their race (or their last name, as is the case with legacy admissions). Because of Bollinger and university presidents like him, college campuses will be among the last places in the country where institutional racism is abolished.
1). As part of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day remembrance earlier this week, black students at Duke University protested a new study authored by a Duke economics professor showing that black students are more likely to switch to easier majors (ones that require less work and give higher grades). The protesters believe the study undermines the achievements of minority students at the university:
“What kind of image does this present not only of the academic undertakings of black students at Duke, but also of the merit and legitimacy of our degrees?” Asante asked. “And then, of course, it’s calling into question … the legitimacy of how we even got to Duke in the first place.”
Surprising? Not really. Of course students who were admitted because of their ethnicity rather than their intelligence and workmanship pick majors that require less intelligence and workmanship. If minority students don’t want anybody calling into question how they were admitted to Duke, they should protest the university’s admissions office, where affirmative action policies result in preferential treatment for applicants with certain skin colors. Such a protest would even make sense–it being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and all.
To be fair, though, the anti-affirmative action movement suffered some embarrassment this week, too.