Scott has a fascinating article in this week’s Inside Higher Ed News, about a proposed inquiry by the US Commission on Civil Rights into the admissions policies of private liberal arts colleges. The concern is that, in an effort to correct gender imbalances, these colleges favor applications by men.
Such an inquiry sounds reasonable, but the proposed solution seems insane:
Much of the probe is directed toward the issue of athletics, with commissioners favoring the inquiry saying that it would be "preferable" for liberal arts colleges to add male athletic teams to attract more male students than it is to use admissions preferences, as is alleged to be taking place now.
Leaving aside the apparent intention to betray at least the spirit of Title IX, I have to ask: What is the problem with gender imbalances? This is a serious question. Do girls still have cooties? Is estrogen so toxic that too much of it would disable the faculty? Is there a sense that women still attend college for that M.R.S. degree, and so would be reluctant to enter an environment in which women outnumber men? Given that males are not a historically oppressed group, and therefore are not, presumably, in need of a leg up, why wouldn’t schools want the most qualified and committed candidates regardless of gender?