John H. Bunzel


diversity, higher education, affirmative action


It is hard to be an enemy of diversity. Most Americans recognize diversity as one of the nation’s proudest attributes. Beyond that, however, there is confusion over the term’s meaning. No matter how often people say the word, or how strongly they believe in it, they continue to ignore the way diversity has become an all-embracing concept. The term “diversity” has become a code word that fails to define precisely what it allegedly exalts and what exactly is to be accomplished by those who extol its virtues. The elasticity of the term “diversity” has masked many kinds of questionable conduct. Administrators have been invoking “diversity” without openly acknowledging that diversity has become “untethered from integration” to the point of becoming “integration’s rival.” Whatever the Supreme Court decides about the data regarding the effects of diversity on students’ academic performance, it is not likely to satisfy all of our college administrators, faculty, and students.

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