Letter to the Editor

By Guest Contributor

In an article published on the front page of the Dec. 6, 2012 edition of the Campus (Panel Discusses Racial Diversity), my position on affirmative action was described this way: “Dry, an opponent of affirmative action, suggested that affirmative action does not have a place in college admissions and instead the focus ought to be on the educational disparity among different races.”

In fact, I never expressed my opposition to affirmative action in admissions, and that is not my position. I did express my opposition to affirmative action in faculty hiring, and I did that only after another panelist, responding to a question on the subject, expressed her unconditional support for it. As for the latter part of the reporter’s description of my position, here are the final two sentences of my prepared remarks: “My own view is that colleges and universities would be well advised to focus on reducing the achievement gap between the races, thereby reducing the need for such programs, which will always be controversial in America.  And students would be well advised to forget about how they got admitted and focus on making the best use of these  four academic years of a leisurely study of the things that are most worth knowing.”

I stand by that position. Frankly, I do not even think it should be controversial.

If any reader of the Campus doubts my account of what I in fact said, in my prepared remarks or afterwards, he or she can consult the transcript of the entire proceeding.

Written by the Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science MURRAY DRY