The Colgate Scene
Sept 2003

Letters
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. . . Diversity is a much-used theme word today to identify one of the most desired components of the student bodies at American universities and colleges. Interestingly, we never hear it used as a component of the faculties and administration members of these institutions. Numerous polls taken reflect that at many major universities and colleges more than 80 percent of faculties are composed of persons who have a distinct bias in favor of the policies and candidates of the Democratic Party.

There are a small number of universities and colleges with a distinct faculty bias in favor of the policies and candidates of the Republican Party. Many times we observe faculty bias by the invited guest speakers on campus with the same bias, or by encouraging and sometimes leading student demonstrations against proposed speakers or political policies with a counter-bias. Of course, the most direct identity of their biases is communicated in their writings and lectures to students and others.

A recent book titled Bias by Bernard Goldberg, a former 25-year CBS television news employee, pointed out that bias is considered by most people as the truth and how things should be -- and, therefore, such people don't recognize their utterances and actions as bias. All of us have certainly observed and experienced this reality and, at times, conducted ourselves accordingly.

The boards of trustees and administrators of all our universities and colleges should make a firm policy to identify bias diversity as one of the primary components of faculties, so that diverse student bodies receive a fair and balanced education through exposure to such faculties. That will require the selection of faculty members to be undertaken more carefully by hiring committees and administrators. They, in turn, should be of a fair and balanced composition to avoid proliferation of their own biases. If diversity is good for the student bodies of America, it certainly must be part of the faculties' composition.

I hope that in the years ahead, polls will reflect that the current one-sided bias in many institutions of higher learning has been replaced with an equal diversity of biases amongst the faculty members. This should help ensure fair and balanced quality education.

. . . I was somewhat taken aback by the article in the Scene relating to Colgate's admission policy utilizing the archaic concept of affirmative action. Not only apparently does the university have such a policy in place, but it has chosen to spend the university's money in filing two amicus curie briefs with the United States Supreme Court in support of affirmative action programs at the University of Michigan.

When I applied to Colgate in 1953 I could best be described as a decent but not necessarily outstanding student. I am confident that if affirmative action "points" were arbitrarily attributed to a fellow applicant who happened to be a minority, I would have been one of those individuals not accepted for admission. That having been the case, quite obviously I would not have had the opportunity to attend Stanford Law School as a John Noble Foundation Grant recipient. In turn, I in all likelihood would not have had the successes in life that have allowed me to contribute tens of thousands of dollars to Colgate.

The question thus arises, should I continue to financially support an institution that would not have accepted me as a student in the first instance under its current policies? Given the incredible competition in today's environment for charitable donations, one is hard pressed to write checks to organizations that have policies that one disagrees with.

I am also concerned by additional language in the same article. Specifically, does not the repeated usage of the term "selective institutions" (meaning Colgate and others) sound a bit elitist to you? The obvious implication is that an institution that is not "selective" should not utilize affirmative action programs. Whoever dreamed up that concept would most likely have failed the course in logic that I took at Colgate.

By the way, as an attorney, I am reasonably well versed on what it takes to file an amicus curie brief with the United States Supreme Court. Believe me, it isn't cheap. Do I want my donations to the university used for this purpose? I think not.

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