Hairblues wrote: ↑
9 months ago
I haven’t really read anything on this. But I wonder if this is what the judge meant that their whole admissions policy had issues (can’t rexall her wording, it’s on the recorded snippet in original post)
I would think as a judge it’s hard to consider on aspect of admission that may actually be flawed without taking into consideration their admission policies as a whole.
I wouldn’t be able to compartmentalize it and make a fair decision. The whole thing needs to be addressed.
Yes, that's true in general. It's hard to say if say, Blacks, are disadvantaged for entering Harvard, as some policies may favor them, but others may disfavor them, and then accounting for all that becomes more complex. However, with southeast Asians, it appears, as far as I can tell, that all criteria other than grades and standardized test scores disfavor them.
It's also not clear to me, as I'm not a lawyer, what responsibilities Harvard has. It's officially a private institution, but in practice it receives a lot of government funding. The professors there apply for government grants to fund their research. The students get federal tax credits and subsidized loans to pay for their education. People who donate to Harvard receive tax deductions. In my opinion it is nowhere close to being a legitimately private institution.
This is a difficult question legally and morally, and I don't have enough knowledge to judge it on those terms. I'll speak to what I favor educationally: An excellent student body that is diverse in several ways that matter. Do what you can to get people from different geographic areas, people from different backgrounds, people from different races, and so on. That will improve the educational environment. Historically, regions and places of high creativity tend to be more diverse.
However, it may be worth it as a fundraising tool to just transparently and openly auction a few hundred spots a year. There's a cost to that, but if it brings in money, there's also a benefit for everybody else.
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pjhair wrote: ↑
9 months ago
I am not sure I agree with it. For example, I didn't get better in developing computer algorithms by the presence of a diverse body of students. I got better at it by consistently being challenged by other bright students who were adept at developing algorithms. Diversity had absolutely nothing to do with it. Similarly, if a students wants to get better in philosophy, the presence of sharp thinkers around him/her is far, far more important than simply having diverse set students. Some departments for, example sociology, may benefit from diversity but that isn't a justifiable ground for engaging in race based admissions.
It might matter more for sociology, economics, theater, art history, management, etc than it matters for computer science, but those are large fractions of the university.
It can also matter in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, I'm sure pjhair knows this abbreviation, but others might not). For example, one thing that's been pointed out in medicine in recent years is that doctors tend to be more dismissive of symptoms from women, for example, women are more likely to hear "you're just stressed, you need to relax" when they have actual problems. This would have likely been identified as an issue earlier on if there were more women in positions of authority within medicine. The presence of mentors can also matter. Graduate students who are women, people of color, etc are likely to do better if they see an authority figure that they can somewhat relate to. Young people actually know this, and it turns out that departments which lack women professors end up having a hard time recruiting women graduate students.
But looking back on my college years, I got both an academic and a social education institutions. I liked the fact that I met people from Japan, from Iran, from France, from Bangladesh, from the United States, etc. I think that it made me a better person to interact with a broader range of people. That may not be as meaningful to you if you went to a better high school than I did.