by Matthew Lynch
Originally published: July 4, 2016
The purpose of diversity efforts on college campuses is to enhance the population ― but in drawing so much attention to people’s differences, are we actually deepening divides?
That’s the exact argument made by Jonathan Haidt and Lee Jussim in a recent Wall Street Journal piece titled “Hard Truths About Race on Campus” that references recent pushes by universities to meet student diversity demands with initiatives such as adding chief diversity officers.
Haidt, a professor of ethical leadership at New York University and Jussim, a psychology professor at Rutgers University, argue that these efforts won’t actually do much to increase diversity or improve race relations on campuses and that they could have the opposite effect of the intention. Rather than separating students by demographic, colleges should focus more on how to get the disadvantaged students on the same footing as those who have always had more educational resources. The authors mention the U.S. Army and how, instead of using affirmative action, the organization provides more in-depth training to minority and women officers to prepare them for promotions.