Meritocracy and diversity are at odds

Affirmative action is back in the news because the Supreme Court once again will consider its role in college admissions. The argument for its continuation is that meritocracy and diversity can simultaneously exist (“Can Affirmative Action Survive?” The New Yorker, July 26).

I disagree.  The two are fundamentally at odds.  Perhaps in theory, they are possible, but in reality they are not.  The California Institute of Technology has long admitted students solely on the basis of their grades and test scores, with no preference whatsoever given to racial minorities, athletes, legacies or development cases.

As a result, Asians constituted more than 40 percent of Cal Tech’s undergraduate student body at last count.  I see nothing at all wrong with that outcome. Asians are the most qualified to handle the rigorous academic work based on their academic track record, and deserve to be admitted accordingly.

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