Educational Theory 55 (4):385-398 (2005)

Evan Simpson
Memorial University of Newfoundland
We assume, for the sake of argument, that the sole purpose of colleges and universities is the advancement of knowledge through teaching and research, and that academic merit, as defined by each discipline, ought to be the only relevant criterion in admissions and hiring decisions. Even on this restrictive set of assumptions, we argue that hiring and admitting women and people of color is sometimes the best way for colleges and universities to advance knowledge. We then address two objections to our argument, that race and sex are no more relevant than being left- or right-handed, and that the epistemic attributes we ascribe to women and people of color belong to people as individuals, not as members of certain groups. We conclude that academic merit and social justice are mutually compatible.
Keywords Personnel Selection  Minority Groups  Females  Justice  College Admission  Equal Opportunities (Jobs)  Educational Theories  Higher Education  Educational Policy  Equal Education
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DOI 10.1111/j.1741-5446.2005.00002.x
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