Diverse Letters

Underestimating Diversity in Academia
The value of diversity in academia is underestimated and institutions need to recognize that even a mature organization loses some of its shared vision if shared experiences are not accessible (see “Last Word: Highlighting the Value of Diversity in Academia,” Aug. 9). Intentional efforts are necessary and require both the individual and the collective sense of responsibility. It is crucial for all of us to assume responsibility and create a global community that addresses diversity on many fronts.
— Ralph Bennett

If It’s Not Broke…
The 10 Percent plan is fine as is (see “Tricky Times for the Top Ten Percent Program,” Aug. 9). It is a measure to allow all students admission to a top university regardless of the quality of their high school education. The list of excuses for why minority students still fail to meet admissions standards at top schools is quickly dwindling, and so is the general public’s patience with affirmative action.
— Lloyd Hansen


Senseless Violence
(“Delaware State Mourns Loss of Students,”
www.diverseeducation.com, Aug. 7, 2007)
Such murders and other types of violent crime represent the greatest threat to the Black community, and we cannot seem to figure out how to stop it. So it seems we are just standing on the sidelines watching the gradual but sure decline of our people and our community. This is sad.
— Henry Williams

We’ll Pass, Thank You
(“colleges struggle to quit rankings habit,” 
www.diverseeducation.com, Aug. 16, 2007)
We at Columbia College Chicago, the nation’s largest arts and media college, have decided to no longer submit institutional data to U.S. News & World Report. We believe that the principles in practice here at Columbia represent the finest tradition of democratic higher education in this nation. The ratings — with their emphasis upon selectivity and exclusion based upon standardized test scores — do not promote the kind of diversity that fosters creative expression and intellectual engagement. Neither do the ratings measure the inventiveness nor the ingenuity necessary for future creative achievement. The U.S. News ratings criteria, simply stated, are not the standards of success that Columbia College Chicago chooses to apply to itself. The ratings do not adequately reflect the impact or value of institutions that, like Columbia, open doors to the creative professions for significant segments of American society.
-Dr. Warrick L. Carter, President, Columbia College Chicago



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