If the 5-4 Voting Rights Act decision lays bare a stark national divide, Fisher v. University of Texas, at 7-1, sends a different message. It serves as an invitation to investigate -- with open minds, not moral outrage -- how racial diversity uniquely improves student outcomes and promotes the public good. While this investigation will take time, there are three things we as college presidents can each do now.
Demonstrate the value we add.
Highly selective colleges bring in driven, accomplished young people with lofty goals that generally do not include becoming a professor. It is on us as educators to make clear why what we do is worth four years and the resources it requires.
Davidson College does not focus on job-specific skills. Yet, within six months, more than 94 percent of the class of 2012 were in professional/graduate school or employed in a career-related job. Davidson offers no business major, yet more than 26 percent of employed 2012 graduates -- students who majored in history, chemistry, political science and English -- had jobs in business.
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