Here’s an interesting twist on the higher ed “diversity” debate that’s largely free of the racial baggage of affirmative action: WaPo reports that the University of Virginia may be discriminating against residents of Northern Virginia in admissions in order to achieve geographical diversity.* Without this measure, residents of the affluent DC Metro area, notably Arlington and Fairfax Counties, would be even more overrepresented in the state’s flagship institution. Other states apparently do something similar.
This strikes me as a horribly bad idea, for precisely the reasons that I oppose race-based quotas. It also seems obviously unconstitutional on equal protection grounds, although there are certainly court rulings going in the other direction.
*Note: University officials deny this but the claims strike me as dubious because they compare apples and oranges in the story. Obviously, everyone in a highly competitive high school can’t be the valedictorian. Indeed, this insight is what states like Texas and Florida are using in a non-racial means to get around affirmative action bans: they simply admit students from the upper echelons of even the worst schools to their flagship schools, thus making their admission seem like “merit.”