The Affirmative Action Light
Loyal readers of Ivy Coach’s college admissions blog know where we stand on the issue of Affirmative Action. In short, we believe it remains a necessary practice to create the America we wish to see, to create an America grounded in equal opportunity. It’s why we stand with Harvard College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in their respective cases against the group known as Students for Fair Admissions. But enough about what we think about Affirmative Action. Today, let’s hear what an Ivy League president has to say about the divisive issue of Affirmative Action.
In an interview with The Daily Princetonian, his first in four years no less, Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber offered his defense of the consideration of race in college admissions decision-making. States Eisgruber, “We are obviously watching very closely these cases, and we’re seriously concerned about them. I remember encountering the affirmative action issue for the first time when I was in high school, which is now a depressingly long time ago, over 40 years. If you had told me at that time that 40 years later, you and I would be sitting at a table, having a conversation about the same issues again, I wouldn’t have believed it. I would have said: look, I believe in what my country is doing, and we’re going to overcome the differences in education, policing, health care, and employment that have made these policies necessary and important today, and I just can’t believe we’ll still be talking about them 40 years later. But, we are talking about them because we haven’t made the progress we should make as a society. So, to get the diversity and the talent and the excellence that we need, these policies have proven important to what we do.”
Well said, President Eisgruber. Well said. Students for Fair Admissions has not proposed an alternative to Affirmative Action. The group has asked that institutions across America bar the consideration of race in admissions decision-making. The group has not asked institutions to bar the practice of legacy admission. Or the practice of athletic recruitment. Or the practice of flagging development cases. The group has singlehandedly gone after the consideration of race in admissions. But look what’s happened when states like California and Michigan have done as much and eliminated race from consideration. Look how the number of students of color has precipitously dropped on college campuses in these states in our union. So kudos to Princeton’s leader for defending the under siege practice of Affirmative Action. He, like many presidents of elite universities across the land, will not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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