Our cover story on celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson sparked a lively dialogue on Reddit, with one reader noting that Robert Lee Moore Hall, which houses the physics program Tyson attended, has an uncomfortable history: Robert Lee Moore…was a titan who revolutionized education in mathematics … that said, it is no secret that Moore held overt racist views.
Allyssa Milan was full of praise: It is truly refreshing & inspiring to see Neil spreading his love & enthusiasm for science, for understanding the Universe … Kids and adults need more role models like him.
Another commenter brought politics into the discussion. What a shame. I’d like to believe my alma mater has grown enough to prevent any more brilliant-minded minorities from feeling unwelcome, but I fear that may never happen if we can’t do better than an ultra-conservative board of regents…
Our roundtable discussion on race in college admissions couldn’t have been more timely, with the Supreme Court’s announcement that they will hear the Fisher v. Texas case coming just as after the issue went to press. As always, questions surrounding affirmative action draw a range of heated responses.
Danny Gregory was a voice against considering race in admissions: I would rather have my school admissions based on my grades which are something I can control. Can’t control my skin color or gender.
Victoria Ramirez pointed out that UT’s admissions process considers other demographic factors, not just race: I’m white, got better than decent grades, and this policy HELPED me get into UT because of the 2 race-neutral components in admissions. I was (1) in top 10% at (2) an economically-disadvantaged school.
Another reader said the issue is more than just black and white. Can Asian Americans get a voice at the table? They represent a good percentage of the student population but have very little in terms of representation at high-level decision-making posts.
Many readers were unhappy with President Powers’ explanation of UT’s new plan to raise four-year graduation rates. S. Chan took issue with Powers’ argument that UT should make it harder for students to switch majors. Starting all over again (due to credits that would not carry or uncooperative university policies) would be even more expensive (inflation, cost increases). So the students who are extending their studies to tailor the degree to their goals, are being thrifty.