The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 14, 2010, 1:21 pm
By Richard Kahlenberg
Last week, the president of Amherst College, Anthony Marx, announced he will leave his post to become president of the New York Public Library next year. As the leader of a relatively small (if very prestigious) institution for eight years, Marx had an out-sized impact on the national conversation about diversity in higher education.
For many years, diversity on selective campuses meant assembling a class that included rich kids of all colors. Research found that eighty-six percent of blacks at selective institutions were middle or upper-middle class; and whites were even wealthier. In 2004, Marx – along with Lawrence Summers, then president Harvard University, and William Bowen, then president of the Mellon Foundation – said higher education needed to pay equal attention to socioeconomic diversity, and took important steps to do so.
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