Letter: Manship alumni concerned about lowering program admissions standards | Opinion
A group of proud alumni are concerned about recent discussions centering on lowering Manship School admissions standards. We understand that such a move would be aimed at increasing minority enrollment – a laudable goal – and we seek clarification to ensure that lowering admissions standards would not be counterproductive to that goal.
As we see first hand in our careers, acquiring and retaining minority colleagues does not happen passively. It requires action: investment, creativity and determination. Our group has a few questions about the plan to lower the school’s admissions standards:
- What data-based evidence shows that lowering admissions standards leads to higher minority enrollments? Has the school considered the possibility that lowering admissions standards could lead to unintended consequences – perhaps instead an influx of non-minority students with a greater need for academic support, which could come at the expense of well-qualified minority Manship students?
- Over the past five years, how much more has the school invested in minority recruitment efforts, such as longer and more frequent recruitment visits to other cities and increased scholarship offers?
- If the school is considering lowering admissions standards, what investments are being made to strengthen faculty and staff support to increase the number of students who are likely to need more individual instruction to prevent them to fall behind?
- What other ideas can be considered? For example, what if Manship relaxed admissions standards but monitored students’ school-specific GPAs and required maintaining a minimum GPA to remain enrolled?
- What about a search to find a permanent dean? Did the school consider that it might be more appropriate for a permanent dean to lead the charge on an issue as crucial as the potential lowering of admissions standards?
We are proud of the Manship School and hope that our concerns will produce a more measured and thoughtful discussion.
Andrea Gallo, the lawyer; Ginger Gibson, NBC News Digital; Matthew Jacobs, thriller; Michael Mims, Bradley, Murchison, Kelly & Shea LLC; Mathew Sanders, The Pew Charitable Trusts; Kyle Whitfield, lawyer