By Steven M. Cahn
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Additional info for Affirmative Action and the University: A Philosophical Inquiry
Disciplines vary widely in the extent to which they track gender and minority status of new appointments. For example, the American Philosophical Association does not track the sex or race of new appointments in philosophy. 4. Betty M. , Professional Women and Minorities: A Manpower Data Resource Service, 8th ed. : Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, 1989), p. 83. 5. For the past five years, the actual percentages of new appointments in law teaching who were women were as follo\vs: 1985-86, 38 percent (data may include some part-time appointments); 1986-87, 34 percent; 1987-88, 33 percent; 1988-89, 35 percent; 1989-90, 43 percent.
Does it matter morally that many would-be academics did not get jobs because universities ceased to expand in the ways that had been predicted? Are disappointments morally significant in a different way if they can be traced to affirmative action? I can describe only briefly some features of expectations that are relevant to whether they matter morally and show how they might relate to disappointments under affirmative action. A limited view about expectations is that they matter morally when they are based on moral or legal rights.
This prac- In Defense of Affirmative Action 29 tice may have produced good applicants for many years, and may be continued because it is familiar and convenient. But is it discriminatory if it results in an interview pool that is nearly entirely white and male? The answer lies in the arguments that support the familiar practice in comparison to alternatives such as expanding direct contacts with references to include referees for all candidates. Arguments for contacts with friends are familiarity, convenience, and apparent past success.
Affirmative Action and the University: A Philosophical Inquiry by Steven M. Cahn