The blessings of diversity, vs. the curse of ‘Dudley’s Folly’
From reader Jane Scaccetti:
I have served on the boards of Temple University, Temple University Health System, Salus University and University of the Arts over many decades. I am also member of Women’s Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, an organization whose mission is to significantly increase the percentage of diverse women on the governing boards of nonprofit healthcare and higher education institutions.
So that is why I am surprised a larger point is mostly lost in the current debate: the leadership of the board of trustees.
With the changes in affirmative action and its impact on enrollment, the board of trustees at our universities and colleges are more important than ever. The board selects and approves compensation of the president; the board approves, funds, and oversees the finances; approves the institutions strategic direction, and is responsible for oversight of corporate culture.
What I don’t understand is how the board’s role in this issue has been virtually ignored in this discussion. It is why I and over 200 have signed our Open Letter to the IRS and Treasury specifically requesting the IRS include on tax form 990 a question about “the gender and racial/ethnic demographics of their boards, based on how board members self-identify. It further supports “including LGBTQ+ and disability disclosure."
From reader Elliott Curson:
This makes me wonder if a college education for many fields is really necessary today. Josh Shapiro just dropped the requirement for Pennsylvania state employees. Tradespeople will always be in demand. I don't require a college degree as a qualification to work for me. I require initiative, curiosity and the willingness to learn..
Kids are graduating today with a debt they may never be able to repay.
From reader Ruth Galanter:
So true! And alas, so hard to get across to parents who think higher education is for making the connections to make money. Of course when I went to college, a year ahead of you, way too many people thought college was the place to find the right kind of spouse.
When I was at Penn, I had an English class that had, as a student, an older man who was taking some undergraduate courses. His presence brought a heady touch of "reality" to us still-mostly-kids in the class. His real work experience helped us view our readings and discussions with new eyes. We were all very idealistic. He was all realistic.
I wish there were more people who would be open to your conclusions. Maybe there are. Just not enough of them on the SCOTUS.