Higher Education in the Digital Age

By William G. Bowen; Kelly A. Lack | Go to book overview

Discussion by Andrew Delbanco

GOOD MORNING. I want to add my thanks to everyone already mentioned and, indeed, to everyone involved with this series of lectures. Daphne and I talked over the plan for this morning’s session, and we agreed that I should go first since there’s some risk that I may sound a down note on which we wouldn’t want to end. But perhaps it won’t be quite as down as you might anticipate.

First, however, I want to add a more extended thanks to President Bowen not only for these very helpful lectures but also for his innumerable contributions that, for many years, have elevated the national conversation about higher education. He has made the case for race-conscious admissions not only as morally imperative but also as effective social policy. He has argued (to use his own formulation) for putting a “thumb on the scale” in the case of low-income students hoping to become the first in their family to attend a selective college. As he mentioned yesterday, he has made the case for favoring high school grades over standardized test scores as better predictors of college success. He has alerted us to the problem of undermatching and its negative effects on time-todegree and graduation rates. And he has been frank about the

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