Affirmative action policies that provide preferential treatment for minorities in college admissions has attracted significant criticism by those who believe merit – regardless of race – should be the primary factor in such decisions. Unfortunately for opponents of this policy, however, the prevailing trend among some universities seems to be rewarding minorities with even more unearned benefits based entirely on their skin color.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Emeritus W. Lee Hansen, for example, recently penned a scathing editorial lambasting that school’s burgeoning policy of handing out spots in prime programs – and even higher grades – along racial lines.
Trudging through the “educational babble” contained therein, Hansen wrote that he is deeply concerned about the proposals delineated in the university’s Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence recently approved by the Faculty Senate.
He cited broad language that could theoretically apply to any student on campus. Without proper inquiry, he suggested the pro-diversity crowd rammed through a plan that includes 30 vague recommendations to further a common goal.
Hansen noted that the proposal seeks “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.”
He broke down the confusing language used to describe these concepts, explaining that the details are frustratingly difficult to pin down.
“Suppose there were a surge of interest in a high demand field such as computer science,” he wrote. “Under the ‘equity’ policy, it seems that some of those who want to study this field would be told that they’ll have to choose another major because computer science already has ‘enough’ students from their ‘difference’ group.”
The preferential treatment would take on an even more shocking role in the school’s grading system, he concluded.
“Professors, instead of just awarding the grade that each student earns, would apparently have to adjust them so that academically weaker, ‘historically underrepresented racial/ethnic’ students perform at the same level and receive the same grades as academically stronger students,” he wrote.
Photo credit: Elvert Barnes (Flickr)
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.