Diversity in Higher Ed Revisited
In the first topic, it was discussed how UT had made a blanket 10% rule (the top 10% of each graduating senior class automatically was granted admission). Because of a some racial/economic segregation among school districts, the 10% rule did yield more diversity (275 African-Americans and 1,024 Hispanics in an incoming class). However, UT additionally conducted holistic review of students, which means other--and what might be considered nontraditional (or not white-centric)--forms of merit, besides test scores, were given more importance. According to the article, the enrolling class (of a similar size) saw 335 African-American students and 1,228 Hispanic students. These numbers may be closer to the actual racial and ethnic demographics in Texas: according to Wikipedia, as of the 2010 U.S. Census, the racial distribution in Texas was as follows: 70.4% of the population of Texas was White American; 11.8% African American; 3.8%, Asian American; 0.7%, American Indian; 0.1%, native Hawaiian or Pacific islander only; 10.5% of the population were of some other race only; and 2.7% were of two or more races. Hispanics (of any race) were 37.6% of the population of the state, while Non-Hispanic Whites composed 45.3%.
In the second topic, the point is made that if URMs want to make sure their voice is heard in the political system (besides the obvious "go out and vote" idea), they should try to get advanced degrees, as that will help them get appointed to positions that will affect policy. I thought this was an interesting point to make, because, as noted by Professor Margaret Montoya (re: affirmative action), “When students of color are admitted, we greatly enhance scholarship outcomes and new ways of teaching happen. Consideration of race allowed debate and discussion to enter the classroom. It benefits all society. To discourage diversity is a waste of human capital at the macro level, because we are wasting human capacity.” So not only does diversity enhance and drive science and technology forward, but it could also impact and drive the policies and laws that we as citizens live by.
To see information about 2010 census demographics (showing white people to still be the majority at 72%), check out this Wikipedia article.