Apr 9 2012, 10:01 AM ET
Before Richard Descoings died suddenly and scandalously last week, he made controversial -- and surprisingly successful -- changes to how one of France's most elite universities builds its student body.
France's Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, known colloquially as Sciences Po, has trained two out of the past three French presidents, four out of the past six prime ministers, countless other assorted politicians and diplomats, and a significant chunk of Europe's top CEOs and financiers. Until 2001, the students who came in were just as socially élite as the graduates who came out.
In 2001, that began to change. The man at the heart of the change was Richard Descoings, who was found dead in a Manhattan hotel last week. And though questions remain about the circumstances of his death, it's his work leading Sciences Po that will surely determine his legacy. He has left promoters of social mobility in education -- both French and American -- plenty to think about.
Full Story: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/one-french-schools-secret-for-making-affirmative-action-work/255612/