Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Viewpoint diversity 

The Volokh Conspiracy runs a piece on how the University of Michigan is end-running the quota questions implicit in its admissions policy.
I have no quarrel with the argument that diversity of viewpoint and ideology enriches the educational experience -- indeed, I heartily endorse it (though I am not convinced it justifies the consideration of race at state institutions). Yet I cannot help but suspect that many (though by no means all) defenders of affirmative action make this argument in bad faith. When one looks at University of Michigan�s school of law, for example, one cannot help but notice the utter lack of ideological or viewpoint diversity on the faculty, let alone a �critical mass� of faculty with various ideological perspectives.
I think there's something more wrong with this than Juan suggests, though -- that one's viewpoint can be ascertained by one's skin color, or one's gender or sexual identity. Is it wrong to suggest that the biggest problem liberals have with black conservatives like Clarence Thomas or Thomas Sowell is that blacks aren't supposed to be conservative? And I'm trying hard to imagine that the admissions office is checking to be sure that they've got enough conservatives. Hang on, I'll try harder.

Nope, not working.