4 Comments

  1. Durl

    The obvious question to ask: how does a university (or any other institution/business) fairly achieve the goals of variety and diversity? I think the problem we see is that the “rules” are not well defined, tend to be too fluid, and there does not seem to be any recourse to those who feel they have not been treated fairly.

    • Boomer

      AHA—Unless I am wrong, which I can very well be—I think that at UL the overall GPA of the student athletes is actually higher than the average of the rest of the student body—Not sure about the ACTs, but no doubt the tutoring program, along with strict discipline on class attendance, participation, and study halls can work wonders!!!

      • Bookscrounger

        They do, in general, have higher grades. Do they have higher grades than the average scholarship holder? That is a higher bar to clear. What I find so valuable about athletics is that, even though the culture of sports is very militaristic and ‘conservative’, the need for talent has forced sports to become quite socially liberal. The Irish athlete in the first part of the 20th century is a stock character, as were Jews, Italians and eastern Europeans later, then blacks, and now GLBT. The iconographic game on this had to be the NC Texas Western took over Kentucky in basketball; TWC started 5 black kids, Kentucky 5 white. Changed basketball, sports, universities, and the country. But back when the Irish started playing, it was a bit controversial, as with all subsequent minorities. But they proved themselves. So without any intent of doing so, athletics is a ‘liberal’ diversifying force on university campuses and in the larger world.

    • Bookscrounger

      Yeah, and that’s a topic that interests me. Rules lead to consistency, and fairness at least in terms of predictability. But consider an admissions officer who wants to add diversity, of all types, into a freshman class. There is absolutely no repeatability from year to year, so science fails, the best one can do is use some guidelines. And beyond a minimal level of grades & scores that give the student a reasonable chance of succeeding, scores aren’t all that helpful. Rules can lead to bureaucratic mindlessness. I have worked with doctors who graduated near the top of their class, who are dangerous. One of the best MDs I’ve ever worked with is a ULM alum who scrambled to make his grades while working (my opinion was supported a few years later when he was named best family practitioner in Louisiana). I have often thought that as a school becomes more selective, avg grades & SATs should actually drop a little, otherwise it means that the committee is looking too much at numbers, and not enough at a) the individual and b) the character and diversity of the incoming class.

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