Skip to comments.Black alumni join students in concern over Duke study
Posted on 01/17/2012 7:55:23 AM PST by NCjim
DURHAM Echoing the concerns of black undergraduates at Duke University, some African-American alumni of the school have expressed outrage over a report that black students there are disproportionally more likely to switch from tough majors to easier ones.
We are deeply troubled and offended by the recent study emanating from faculty members at our alma mater, 17 black alumni wrote in a letter to The Herald-Sun.
The alumni, including those who received masters and doctoral degrees at the school, called the unpublished study by Duke faculty members misguided scholarship whose results and methodology are both flawed and incorrect and based on problematic premises [that result in] problematic conclusions.
We cannot sit idly by and allow this slander to be (mis)labeled as truth, the alumni wrote.
The paper, What Happens After Enrollment: An Analysis of the Time Path of Racial Differences in GPA and Major Choice, looked at two Duke freshman classes in their first, second and fourth years of college.
It found that among students who initially expressed an interest in majoring in economics, engineering and the natural sciences, a significantly greater percentage of black students ended up switching their majors to the humanities or another social science.
The authors of the paper suggested that the switch to what are considered easier, less rigorous majors was predominantly responsible for why the grade-point averages of black undergraduates ultimately mirrored the GPAs of white students as they progressed through school.
The papers authors professors Peter Arcidiacono and Kenneth Spencer, and graduate student Esteban Aucejo argue that their work calls into question other studies that play down the academic difficulties initially experienced by those who benefit from race-conscious admission policies.
The paper is included in a brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court by opponents of affirmative action. The court is considering whether to hear a lawsuit challenging race-conscious admissions the university of Texas.
News of the paper drew angry responses from members of Dukes Black Student Alliance.
In an email sent to the state chapter of the NAACP, officers of the alliance wrote that the implications and intentions of this research are hurtful and alienating, and questioned both the scholarship and why the university administration had done nothing to ameliorate any possible effects of what the researchers had noted.
About three dozen members of the alliance, including a few white students, silently protested the study Sunday evening outside Duke Chapel after the universitys annual Martin Luther King Jr. service.
They passed out fliers posing the question Duke: A hostile environment for its black students? and held signs that said, among other things, Does GPA have a color?
The students have called on the university administration to provide a complete public account of Dukes effort to ensure an optimal learning environment for black students and provide a public affirmation of the universitys commitment to diversity, as well as its full support for policies and programs that promote the success of black students.
It’s rough when you get into an excellent university based upon grade inflation or athletic ability.
There wasn’t much outrage when the 88 professors were proven wrong in the Duke Lacrosse case and they never apologized.
Soooooo, they don’t like the facts? Should Duke force minorities to stay in engineering and other “hard” majors?
(1 Change the anti-academic attitude in ANY culture that is anti-learning.
(2) Teach phonics.
(3) Bust your tail on homework. An engineering degree, for example, is VERY hard work.
Affirmative action and set aside “scholarships” are cruel teachers.
Oh yeah; here we go with the good ol' Race Card.
Duke provides an optimal learning environment, available to ALL students, and somehow they want special treatment for blacks? If you can't compete, maybe the problem is not with the program, but with the capability of the players???? Change the rules so that lowering the bar will allow lackluster to survive?
Seems that's what PUBLIC education has tried, and we STILL have blacks earning less, producing less, and living on the public dole MORE. Face the fact that the Cultural Issues of mental mindset/lack of work ethic is rife in that particular community (as it has been for 4 generations)
so far, i all i hear is the usual ‘outrage’, can these alumni show conclusively that the study is seriously flawed and thus gives a flawed conclusion???
Did these alumni consist of engineering or communications majors?
So let me get this straight. These are students who came from Africa, were born in Africa, matriculated at Duke, and who now refer to themselves in the collective as African-Americans. Do I have that about right. I had NO idea so many students from Watusi land were enrolling there. Quite amazing. Do they still do tribal dances and have witch doctors?
F Duke and F them.
“The alumni, including those who received masters and doctoral degrees at the school”
Would those degrees be in african-american studies and history?
I’m offended they’re offended.
I work at one of the world’s major companies and the head of the tax dept is a black guy who I’m certain isn’t there because of his color but because he worked hard and has an aptitude for this - and he’s an excellent leader. His admin assistant is a young black girl, nice as pie, fits in well. One of the people I support is a black who actually immigrated from Africa - also hard working and really nice guy.
It isn’t as though one size fits all - and that works both ways. Not all blacks who’ve been coddled through high school and given favoritism in college admissions are going to make it - nor would whites shown the same favoritism. These blacks who are being made uncomfortable by these statistics ought to realize this.
I’m confused that they’re offended...
Is “10-2=8” racist somehow?
You should be required to stay in the field of study that got you admitted in the first place. You should have to reapply if you want to change to a different college of study (Engineering to Business) AND any scholarship money forfeited.
Among the politically correct we’re not supposed to bring up uncomfortable facts. I heard that somewhere recently.
The government should suppress all facts that are offensive.
One in particular caught my eye:
The study opens with a bold statement that affirmative action admissions in higher education allow for the college admission of minority students who have weak preparation for college-level work. This implies that students of color are not as intelligent or prepared as their white counterparts.
The rebuttal of these statements is so obvious, so tautological, it borders on the rhetorical. To wit: if students of color were as well-prepared for college as their white counterparts, there would be no need for affirmative action. In other words, if black candidates had similar high school grades, SAT scores, and other objective criteria for admission, they could be evaluated solely by that criteria. The fact that they do not have similar credentials is the raison d'etre that affirmative action exists.
Furthermore, the critics conflated "intelligent" with "well-prepared," which just muddles the issue, while enabling the race-card to be played. A student could have innately high intelligence and still be poorly prepared for a prestigious college if that intelligence had not been put to good use via a rigorous high school education.
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” ` Winston Churhill