I just received the Feb. 5 issue of The Weekly Pennsylvanian and it was full of articles about diversity, with everyone paying homage to it one way or another.
Haven’t we yet reached a point where people are chosen for their own qualifications and abilities? I believe it is demeaning for a great university such as Penn to be counting people by gender or by skin color or ethnic background.
It is ridiculous enough to have “Africana” studies as a department. Is there an Asiana department, or a Sudamericana department? Isn’t the Africana Studies department simply a concession to the skin color bean counters and an excuse to hire African-American faculty members who otherwise would not be needed?
I would like to see an article which defines “diversity” and then establishes why and how it deserves to be treated almost like a religion the way The Weekly Pennsylvanian did in this issue. In addition, there should be a contra opinion expressed. I believe hiring decisions should be colorblind and based solely on the qualifications of the candidates and not on their membership in some minority. Then, however the cookie crumbles is fine. To follow the example of President Obama, who hires his unqualified black friends to important posts in the government (Eric Holder, Susan Rice), is a pathway to mediocrity.
Paul A. Rubinstein is a 1956 Wharton graduate.