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The hypocrisy at the core of America’s elite universities

 That is the title of my latest Bloomberg column, the piece is best read as a whole.  Nonetheless here is one excerpt: As someone who stands to the political right of most of my fellow university faculty and administrators, I have no qualms accepting the argument that colleges and universities need to grow wealthier. That
The post The hypocrisy at the core of America’s elite universities appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION. 

That is the title of my latest Bloomberg column, the piece is best read as a whole.  Nonetheless here is one excerpt:

As someone who stands to the political right of most of my fellow university faculty and administrators, I have no qualms accepting the argument that colleges and universities need to grow wealthier. That can mean tolerating various inequalities in the short run, because in the longer run academia will produce more innovation that benefits virtually everyone, including the poor.

This is not the kind of argument many on the political left find appealing. In tax policy, for example, such reasoning — the idea that short-run inequality can bring longer-run benefits — is often derided as “trickle-down economics.” And yet virtually any fan of the Ivies has to embrace this idea. The best defense of the admissions policies of America’s most prestigious universities is a right-leaning argument that they are deeply uncomfortable with.

So instead they tie themselves into knots to give the impression that they are open and egalitarian. To boost their image, minimize lawsuits and perhaps assuage their own feelings of institutional guilt, America’s top schools adopt what are known as DEI policies, to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

The “inclusion” part of that equation is hardest for them to defend. Top-tier universities accept only a small percentage of applicants — below 4% at Stanford last year, for example. How inclusive can such institutions be? Everyone knows that these schools are elitist at heart, and that they (either directly or indirectly) encourage their students and faculty to take pride at belonging to such a selective institution. Most of all, the paying parents are encouraged to be proud as well. Who exactly is being fooled here?

And to close:

I thus have the luxury of opposing the new anti-legacy-admissions bill for two mutually reinforcing reasons. First, it reflects an unjustified expansion of federal powers over higher education. Even if you are anti-legacy, or want to rein in the Ivy League, you may not be happy about how those federal powers will be used the next time around.

Second, I do not mind a world where America’s top schools practice and implicitly endorse trickle-down economics. Someone has to carry the banner forward, and perhaps someday this Trojan horse will prove decisive in intellectual battle. In the meantime, I have my cudgel — hypocrisy among the educational elite — and I, too, can feel better about myself.

Recommended.

The post The hypocrisy at the core of America’s elite universities appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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The hypocrisy at the core of America’s elite universities

The hypocrisy at the core of America’s elite universities

 That is the title of my latest Bloomberg column, the piece is best read as a

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The hypocrisy at the core of America’s elite universities

The hypocrisy at the core of America’s elite universities

 That is the title of my latest Bloomberg column, the piece is best read as a

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