Friday, March 4, 2011


Donald Saleh, vice president for enrollment management at Syracuse:
There is this tension in higher education between the old ways in which colleges described the quality of their class -- test scores and G.P.A. and rank in class, and the new metric, which will be much more along the lines of what we are talking about -- the socioeconomic diversity, the percentage of students who are first-generation in college, and for students from the Northeast in particular, the geographic diversity of their class. . . . Some of our faculty members are locked into the old metrics. Our president, our provost and the deans and my area of enrollment management are focused on the new metrics. And students are split.
That's an admirably fair statement of the two positions. I find the "new metric" loathsome: it's a conscious embrace of the belief that what matters is what one is—race, class, place of upbringing—rather than what one does. Count me among the traditionalists.