Like Florida, more leading public universities are striving for national status and drawing increasingly impressive and increasingly affluent students, sometimes using financial aid to lure them. In the process, critics say, many are losing force as engines of social mobility, shortchanging low-income and minority students, who are seriously underrepresented on their campuses.
Undoubtedly, Jeff Harrison will have some thoughts on the story, in part because it's largely about his school, the University of Florida. Among the issues at the University of Florida, is the relative absence of students from modest backgrounds. Lewin reports that Florida's president, Dr. Machen "said that when he became president of the university in 2004, he was troubled to discover that the average student’s family income was about $100,000. "
“That bothered me because public education is supposed to be a ladder to success,” Dr. Machen said. “We don’t want to be an elitist institution. We want to be a mirror of society.”There are some obvious parallels here with Brian Leiter's latest on changes in hiring practices over the last two decades.