What most caught my eye, however, was the article by Robin Wilson (registration required) on efforts of colleges to increase the hiring of Hispanic faculty members. Wilson paraphrased a forthcoming study suggesting that “if universities want to diversify, they must put aside their usual hiring practices.”
The article doesn’t exactly specify how this change would occur, although the examples it contains are troubling: Wilson describes several searches at Arizona State where ethnicity seemed to be the only factor, and it was unclear whether the university bothered to advertise positions to non-Hispanics.
In the end, professors are hired to teach. If institutions do not even adopt the pretense that merit is playing a role in faculty hires, what sort of faculty, in the long term, is likely to result?