I am opposed on principle to turning down a million dollars when there is no quid pro quo. In fact, I am even opposed to turning down a single dollar, so long as there is no quid pro quo. It simply isn't polite to turn down a gift and it's just plain stupid if you're trying to build an endowment. And so, on paper, I approve of the latest gift million-dollar gift to Claremont Graduate School by Mr. Masatoshi Ito. Mr. Masotoshi's gift will help establish a new fellowship program for female MBA students. Thanks for the money, Mr. Masatoshi.
But sometimes the cost associated with a gift becomes a little too high to justify acceptance. Or so we are told by the Literature Department.
And so it seems with the latest in a long string of special interest scholarships designed to favor one group of students over another. How these gifts contribute to the overall Claremont mission seems missing from the conversation. What a pity.
Generally I have no problem with special interest scholarships or preferences. After all, the sports players must dunk baskets and cello players must play (and carry around) the cello. Similarly, though legacy admissions offend the very notion of the meritocracy America ought to be, you must recognize that at some at some point down the family line, that someone had done well enough to get in.
And you don't get the benefits of legacy if your parents never contributed anything back to the alma mater. Cash is king and the child born to a janitor can build a business empire.
Yet what infuriates me to no end are the set asides for some over others when you cannot possibly change something like your race or your gender. Why should only female MBAs receive assistance?
We all know that the academy is inundated with federal dollars. Still, it seems odd that there are special opportunities available for a certain population. Lest you think this issue is confined, your Claremont Conservative dug up the advertisement for the professors that will teach the female MBAs. The bottom of the ad says the following:
Claremont Graduate University is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer and committed to hiring the most diverse,accomplished,and energetic new and established scholars possible.True scholarship, like true management, knows no quota. Quotas lead to quotas.