Thursday, February 14, 2013

Asian American Quotas at Ivy League Schools

In a recent email to Asian-American students, the 80/20 educational foundation points to research that shows the Ivy League schools have a 17% , plus or minus 2% quota for Asian-American students.
This harks back to the quotas on Jews at Ivy League schools in the 30s and the 40s. My doctorate is from the number one school in public affairs, the Maxwell school at Syracuse. In the 30s, though, Syracuse was a school trying to get through the depression that couldn't afford to have a Jewish quota. Because their Jewish graduates went on to great things and also supported Syracuse financially the University moved into the top 50 universities in the nation.
But the Jewish quota at Ivy League schools was not only unfair, it probably was dysfunctional. In the end those institutions were robbed of highly intelligent individuals who could have made a great contribution to their student bodies and alumni giving.
Because I've been lucky enough to teach American idioms to Chinese doctoral candidates at UCLA, while they taught me Chinese, I've been able to work with individuals whose intellectual level is impressive. I've been asked questions I never received in 30 years of teaching. I know enough Chinese-Americans to be highly impressed with their intellectual ability.
If a Chinese-American is a US citizen he or she should not be limited by quotas at rich white schools. If they are, in the end they will still become important people, and the schools that rejected them will be the lesser for it, while the schools that accept them will be stronger.

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