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The ivory tower of academia: Higher education lacks racial, ethnic and economic diversity

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Academia has long been ridiculed as an ivory tower filled with aloof professors who pursue niche academic interests while ignoring student needs and the “real world.” Given recent controversies over higher education’s racial biases, we must wonder whether such a critique is attributable to the ivory-skinned complexion of college professors and administrators. While the college student body population is rapidly diversifying, faculty ranks lag pathetically behind.

Even many impoverished and working-class white Americans — whose ivory skin grows tanned or calloused from work in fields, factories or fast-food restaurants — feel disconnected from higher education. The entire country suffers when our institutions of higher learning are unrepresentative of the country’s racial, ethnic and economic diversity.

 

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