Monday, 27 March 2006

Y Discriminate

The apologia by Kenyon College’s dean of admissions for her college’s policy of discriminating against female applicants in favor of promoting campus gender balance has raised hackles from traditional opponents of affirmative action and proponents alike. Closer to my regular reading lists, Laura of 11D also reacts.

My sense is that Ms. Britz’s argument, like most supporting affirmative action of any kind as an end in and of itself (or those justifying it in any terms other than as a narrowly-focused effort to redress past discrimination at institutions that engaged in such discrimination in the past), falls on its face, but that Kenyon—as a private institution—ought to be able to pursue whatever admissions policies it thinks are appropriate, no matter how misguided the college may be. Of course, whether or not taxpayers ought to subsidize those policies directly or indirectly, which they do at Kenyon and most other institutions of higher education in this country, is another question entirely…