Front page
Silflay Hraka?

Bigwig is a systems administrator at a public university
Hrairoo is the proprietor of a quality used bookstore
Kehaar is.
Woundwort is a professor of counseling at a private university

The Hraka RSS feed

bigwig AT

Friends of Hraka
Daily Pundit
cut on the bias
Meryl Yourish
This Blog Is Full Of Crap
Winds of Change
A Small Victory
Silent Running
Dr. Weevil
Little Green Footballs
Fragments from Floyd
The Feces Flinging Monkey
Dean's World
Little Tiny Lies
The Redsugar Muse
Natalie Solent
From the Mrs.
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
On the Third Hand
Public Nuisance
Not a Fish
Electric Venom
Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo
Common Sense and Wonder
Neither Here Nor There
The Greatest Jeneration
Ipse Dixit
Blog On the Run
Redwood Dragon
Greeblie Blog
Have A Cuppa Tea
A Dog's Life
Iberian Notes
Midwest Conservative Journal
A Voyage to Arcturus
Trojan Horseshoes
In Context
The People's Republic of Seabrook
Country Store
Blog Critics
Chicago Boyz
Hippy Hill News
Kyle Still Free Press
The Devil's Excrement
The Fat Guy
War Liberal
Assume the Position
Balloon Juice
Iron Pen In A Velvet Glove
Freedom Lives
Where Worlds Collide
Knot by Numbers
How Appealing
South Knox Bubba
Heretical Ideas
The Kitchen Cabinet
Bo Cowgill
Raving Atheist
The Short Strange Trip
Shark Blog
Ron Bailey's Weblog
Cornfield Commentary
Northwest Notes
The Blog from the Core
The Talking Dog
WTF Is It Now??
Blue Streak
Smarter Harper's Index
nikita demosthenes
Bloviating Inanities
Sneakeasy's Joint
Ravenwood's Universe
The Eleven Day Empire
World Wide Rant
All American
The Rant
The Johnny Bacardi Show
The Head Heeb
Viking Pundit
Oscar Jr. Was Here
Just Some Poor Schmuck
Katy & Bruce Loebrich
But How's The Coffee?
Roscoe Ellis
Sasha Castel
Susskins Central Dispatch
Josh Heit
Aaron's Rantblog
As I was saying...
Blog O' Dob
Dr. Frank's Blogs Of War
Betsy's Page
A Knob for Brightness
Fresh Bilge
The Politburo Diktat
Drumwaster's rants
Curt's Page
The Razor
An Unsealed Room
The Legal Bean
Helloooo chapter two!
As I Was Saying...
SkeptiLog AGOG!
Tong family blog
Vox Beth
I was thinking
Judicious Asininity
This Woman's Work
Fragrant Lotus
Single Southern Guy
Jay Solo's Verbosity
Snooze Button Dreams
You Big Mouth, You!
From the Inside looking Out
Night of the Lepus
No Watermelons Allowed
From The Inside Looking Out
Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics
Suburban Blight
The SmarterCop
Dog of Flanders
From Behind the Wall of Sleep
Beaker's Corner
Bad State of Gruntledness
Who Tends The Fires
Granny Rant
Elegance Against Ignorance
Say What?
Blown Fuse
Wait 'til Next Year
The Pryhills
The Whomping Willow
The National Debate
The Skeptician
Zach Everson
Geekward Ho
Life in New Orleans
Rotten Miracles
The Biomes Blog
See What You Share
Blog d’Elisson
Your Philosophy Sucks
Watauga Rambler
Socialized Medicine
Verging on Pertinence
Read My Lips
The Flannel Avenger
Butch Howard's WebLog
Castle Argghhh!
Andrew Hofer
Moron Abroad
White Pebble
Darn Floor
Pajama Pundits
Goddess Training 101
A & W
Medical Madhouse
Slowly Going Sane
The Oubliette
American Future
Right Side Redux
See The Donkey
Newbie Trucker
The Right Scale
Running Scared
Ramblings Journal
Focus On Reality
Wyatt's Torch

November 12, 2003

Busting Caps

UNC submitted what it thought was a fairly innocuous proposal to raise the current cap on out of state submissions from 18 to 22% of an incoming freshman class, and found it had kicked over a hornet's nest.

The proposal, pushed by UNC-Chapel Hill, has sparked outrage among many state taxpayers who want their sons and daughters to have a shot at admission to the university. Opponents fear that more out-of-state students would hurt the chances of in-state students, although UNC-CH officials have insisted that they want to increase the numbers of both groups.

Wilson said he had received more e-mail messages and letters on this issue than any other during his six-year tenure on the board. Most correspondence is from the western part of the state, he said, particularly the Asheville area.

"It's overwhelmingly in opposition to any liberalization to the cap," Wilson said.

Sen. Richard Stevens, a Republican from Wake County and former UNC-CH trustee, said his mailbox has been full of dissent about the plan, too.

"All of my mail -- 100 percent of the e-mail, letters and phone calls from constituents -- has been against this increase, consistently," he said last week. "The only folks who have really been for [allowing more out-of-state students in] have been associated with the university in one way or another."

Now, far be it from me to adhere to the nativist line here, but the reasoning behind the plan was flawed from the beginning. The idea was to increase the intellectual diversity on the student body, as if the only in-state intellects available to UNC were devoted to studies of Nascar and tobacco, when in fact all those guys go to State anyway.

It also ignores the fact that the population of North Carolina, especially in the Charlotte/Triad/Triangle areas supplying most of the UNC student body, is among the most diverse in the nation, especially since the tech boom of the 1990's.

And how, exactly, does one measure intellectual diversity? If it's by grades and SAT scores, then perhaps UNC ought to send a few more recruiters 8 miles down the road, to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a school devoted to educating the gifted and talented whose student body is composed entirely of the children of North Carolina citizens. (Full disclosure: I attended NCSSM in its formative years, and was kicked out due to my preference for making out as opposed to studying for calculus exams. Any school that won't have me can't be all bad.)

I'm not sure what "intellectual diversity" is code for, since even if no out of state students were admitted that measure of campus quality would not decline, unless UNC is admitting that it can't compete with other colleges for the best students in the state. Possibly it means something along the lines of "we need more accents round here," but if so then the holders of those sentiments have obviously never seen a Raleigh debutante, a first generation Pakistani and a Hoi Toider reading Chaucer in the original Middle English.

Oddly enough, the two towns encompassing UNC, Chapel Hill and Carrboro, are famous for their intellectual diversity, yet are two of the least racially diverse in the state. The population of Chapel Hill is 77% honky, and "bohemian" Carrboro is 72% Caucasoid. In fact, the only major cities in the state with an equal or higher percentage of people who can't keep the beat are Asheville, which ties Chapel Hill, and Cary, where a whopping 82% of the population is composed of the easily sunburned.

So, wouldn't a proposal to increase the "intellectual diversity" at the UNC campus end up further marginalizing the racial minorities on the campus and in each town? Would the intellectual diversity of a white out of state student trump the racial diversity a black in state student with lower scores?

The whole problem with setting "diversity" of any type as a goal is that it unfairly excludes those who would otherwise qualify.

If intellectual diversity is the goal, then UNC should define what it thinks of as the minimum requirements to meet that goal for each incoming class, take all the in-state students meeting said requirements, then accept an out-of-state student for every remaining slot.

My quess is that would cap out of state entrants at about 5%, if that much. It wouldn't do much for UNC in the annual college rankings, as if that was something we should care about, but it would guarantee a better education for the children of the taxpayers of the state that has supported it for over 200 years.

Of course, such a program would be "intellectual diversity" in name only. It would actually hearken back to a term much less used in today's educational discussions.


Posted by Bigwig at November 12, 2003 05:47 PM | TrackBack
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.

Hear! Hear!
or is it Hear here?

Posted by: Indigo at November 12, 2003 07:45 PM
Post a comment Note: Comments with more than two dashes per line will be blocked as spam.

Remember personal info?