Thanks to the University of Michigan’s son-of-Bakke case, the Supreme Court is again weighing the value of — and means to achieve — diversity in higher education. But no matter the outcome, no matter which way Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s vote swings, we are assured of this much. Truly meaningful diversity won’t result, because it’s defined too narrowly.
Studies show that the most underrepresented group in the nation’s top universities and colleges is not Hispanics or blacks but those from low-income families. Class-based affirmative action is still eclipsed by the race-based version. That won’t change regardless of how the Supremes vote.
More to the point, diversity as a function of ideology will remain a higher education oxymoron. Ironically and appallingly, diversity of thought isn’t even an implicit goal. Largely liberal groupthink is the norm among students, irrespective of color. But it’s practically a job requirement for faculty