Is Affirmative Action for Men Coming Next?


As I mentioned on H&R a while back, the ratio of women to men on college campuses is growing ever wider, prompting some to consider affirmative action for men. In an op/ed in today's New York Times, Jennifer Delahunty Britz, the dean of admissions at Kenyon College, apologizes to all the qualified girls she's rejected in favor of less qualified boy applicants. The dean writes:

Today, two-thirds of colleges and universities report that they get more female than male applicants, and more than 56 percent of undergraduates nationwide are women. Demographers predict that by 2009, only 42 percent of all baccalaureate degrees awarded in the United States will be given to men….

The elephant that looms large in the middle of the room is the importance of gender balance. Should it trump the qualifications of talented young female applicants? At those colleges that have reached what the experts call a "tipping point," where 60 percent or more of their enrolled students are female, you'll hear a hint of desperation in the voices of admissions officers.

Beyond the availability of dance partners for the winter formal, gender balance matters in ways both large and small on a residential college campus. Once you become decidedly female in enrollment, fewer males and, as it turns out, fewer females find your campus attractive.

Can workshops on how to attract male applicants to your college suggesting that college presidents focus on building more intramural sports facilities, offer weekly beer bashes, and such like, be far behind?