On October 17th, 2012, Harry Brighouse presented his talk entitled “Social Justice and Flagship Public Universities”. A recording of the talk is available here.
Universities are wrongly regarded as motors of equal opportunity. In fact, selective universities, including most of the most respected public flagships, do very little to make opportunity more equal. This is not surprising: the main barriers to equal opportunity have been established long before students enter college. But social justice concerns more than equal opportunity; it also directs us to prioritize the interests of the less advantaged members of society. Whereas universities have limited capacity to influence mobility, they could do much more than they currently do to meet the interests of less advantaged Americans. Prof. Brighouse explores what universities could do to serve the disadvantaged better, and will argue that public flagship universities, their administrators, and especially their faculty, should be pioneering practical reforms in resource allocation, mentoring, and instruction.