I’m thankful that increasing attention is being paid to the dire state of higher education in our country. Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has just published “The Diversity Delusion.” Its subtitle captures much of the book’s content: “How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.” Part of the gender pandering at our universities is seen in the effort to satisfy the diversity-obsessed National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, each of which gives millions of dollars of grant money to universities. If universities don’t make an effort to diversify their science, technology, engineering and math (known as STEM) programs, they risk losing millions in grant money.
A UCLA scientist says, “All across the country the big question now in STEM is: how can we promote more women and minorities by ‘changing’ (i.e., lowering) the requirements we had previously set for graduate level study?” Mac Donald says, “Mathematical problem-solving is being deemphasized in favor of more qualitative group projects; the pace of undergraduate physics education is being slowed down so that no one gets left behind.”
Diversity-crazed people ignore the fact that there are systemic differences in race and sex that influence various outcomes. Males outperform females at the highest levels of math; however, males are overrepresented at the lowest levels of math competence. In 2016, the number of males scoring above 700 on the math portion of the SAT was nearly twice as high as the number of females scoring above 700.
In terms of careers, females are more people-centered than males. That might explain why females make up 75 percent of workers in health care-related fields but only 14 percent of engineering workers and 25 percent of computer workers.
“The Diversity Delusion” documents academic practices that fall just shy of lunacy at many universities. Nowhere are these practices more unintelligent and harmful to their ostensible beneficiaries than in university efforts to promote racial diversity. UC Berkeley and UCLA are the most competitive campuses in the University of California system. Before Proposition 209’s ban on racial discrimination, the median SAT score of blacks and Hispanics at Berkeley was 250 points below that of whites and Asians. This difference was hard to miss in class. Renowned Berkeley philosophy professor John Searle, who sees affirmative action as a disaster, said, “They admitted people who could barely read.”
Many readers know that I am a professor of economics at George Mason University. A few readers have asked me about “Black Freshmen Orientation,” held Aug. 25 and advertised as an opportunity for students to learn more about the black community at George Mason University. GMU is not alone in promoting separation in the name of diversity and inclusion. Harvard, Yale, UCLA and many other universities, including GMU, have black graduation ceremonies.
University administrators and faculty members who cave to the demands for racially segregated activities have lost their moral mooring, not to mention common sense. Some weak-minded administrators might make the argument that having black-only activities and facilities is welcoming and might make black students feel more comfortable. I’m wondering whether they would also support calls by either white or black students for separate (themed) bathrooms and water fountains.
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Writes for Creators Syndicate.