ERIC Number: ED231262
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr-14
A Workable Strategy for Affirmative Action.
Barger, Robert N.; Barger, Josephine C.
The kinds of affirmative action programs that are likely to be successful within postsecondary education are identified. Affirmative action is designed to increase minority access, survival, and upward mobility within the institution. The following arguments are proposed: (1) ethical and legal strategies are insufficient to accomplish the aim of an affirmative action program, and (2) a pragmatic strategy, which appeals to the interests of both the majority and minority, is necessary for the success of an affirmative action program. The following principles of philosophical ethics, which are open to conflicting interpretations, are briefly explained: compensatory justice, distributive justice, and formal equality. There are problems with basing affirmative action on grounds of legality, since the legal grounds may shift, and the reporting of results is often based on "good faith" effort, rather than a showing of substantial results. The pragmatic approach is based on utility, measured in terms of results or consequences. It is suggested that future demographic changes in postsecondary education will likely result in a buyer's market for minority students. Therefore, it is in the self-interest of colleges to recruit and retain minority students, and to increase the number of minority staff. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Blacks in Higher Education (8th, Washington, DC, April 14, 1983).