After the recent 6-2 Supreme Court ruling that the voters of the state of Michigan had the right to ban race-conscious college admissions policies, the pros and cons of so-called affirmative action have been much in the news (“Justices uphold ban by voters on use of race in admissions,” Page A1, April 23).
Let me offer a more local perspective. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the graduate program in English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst put considerable resources into recruiting a diverse graduate student population. What an extraordinary cohort we gathered, many of whom, after they completed their doctoral degrees in English, have gone on to distinguished academic and administrative careers. One is assistant vice president for academic affairs at Loyola College in Maryland; others are associate professors, with tenure, at Amherst College, Goucher College, University of Connecticut, UCLA, Montclair State University, and Northwestern University (currently teaching in Qatar); another is dean of arts, humanities, and social sciences at Springfield Technical Community College.
Those students brought not only ethnic and cultural diversity to our classrooms but proved themselves to be many of the most gifted scholars among us. We continue to take great pride in their professional successes, as should all the citizens of Massachusetts.
The writer, a professor emerita of English, is a former associate director of graduate studies in English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.