The College’s “In The News” page often mentions interesting stories. One example was a December 30th article from the Wall Street Journal about effect of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Michigan affirmative action cases on policies surrounding minority scholarships.

In the months since the rulings, Williams College, Indiana University, Carnegie Mellon University and other schools have opened minority scholarships to all races — even at the risk of alienating some minority students, alumni and donors.

Since 1985, Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., has annually awarded the Bolin Fellowships for Minority Graduate Students, named after the school’s first black alumnus. This year, Williams changed the scholarship’s name to the Bolin Dissertation Fellowships, and for the first time applicants of all races will be considered as long as they belong to an “underrepresented group.” That could include academic rarities such as female physicists of any ethnicity or Caucasian researchers in Asian Studies, according to acting dean of faculty William Lenhart.

“The college thought it was a reasonable change” in light of the Supreme Court’s decisions, Mr. Lenhart says.

There is absolutely no upside for me in making any comments about “Caucasion researchers in Asian studies.” If only that had been a major back in the 1980’s! In any event, the Federalist in me thinks that Williams should be left alone to run its fellowships in whatever ways it sees fit. The skeptic in me wonders about just how many white males will be getting Bolin Fellowships over the next ten years. (My bet is 1 or less.) The optimist in me hopes that the College recognizes that other “academic rarities” would include “outspokenly conservative English Ph.D. students.”

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