Paul L. Caron

Monday, April 28, 2008

Heriot: The ABA's "Diversity" Diktat

The ABA's "Diversity" Diktat (Wall Street Journal), by Gail Heriot (San Diego):

If you have ever wondered why colleges and universities seem to march in lockstep on controversial issues like affirmative action, here is one reason: Overly politicized accrediting agencies often demand it.

Given that federal funding hinges on accreditation, schools are not in a position to argue. That is precisely why the U.S. Department of Education, which gives accreditors their authority, must sometimes take corrective action. George Mason University's law school in northern Virginia is an example of why corrective action is needed now. ...

[I]t is up to the Education Department to bring the ABA to heel. In 2006, when the ABA's status as accreditor was itself up for renewal, opposition came from many quarters on many grounds. Surprised, the Education Department put the ABA on a short leash, giving it only 18 months before its next renewal, and requiring it to submit its official correspondence for inspection.

It is now time to find permanent solutions to the problems of ABA abuse. Foremost on the Education Department's list should be to get the ABA out of the diversity business. It is one thing for a law school to adopt its own discriminatory admissions policies; it is quite another to force it to do so on pain of losing federal funding.

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