Yale and the Purpose of Great Universities

Why is Peter Salovey so obsessed with the origins of Yale’s students rather than their intellectual achievements?

May 2, 2019 3:35 p.m. ET

In his response (Letters, April 29) to Heather Mac Donald’s “At Yale, ‘Diversity’ Means More of the Same” (op-ed, April 24), Yale University President Peter Salovey does a better job at confirming everything Ms. Mac Donald asserts about Yale. Why is Mr. Salovey so obsessed with the origins of Yale’s students rather than their intellectual achievements? Apparently, Yale University, any university, must be a sort of universal pacifier: “Yale engages with contemporary challenges, including racism, discrimination and intolerance in this country and world-wide. Such engagement isn’t ‘bureaucratic bloat:’ it is a university fulfilling its mission.”

This is a very odd view of a university. There are many other institutions whose proper, assigned mission is to “engage with contemporary challenges.” Is the university not different in important ways?

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