Walter E. Williams

 Dr. Swinton's policy borders on lunacy. Imagine that a freshman gets an A for effort in his algebra class but has virtually no grasp of the material, earning him an F grade. Under the college's SEE policy, the student would be assigned a C for the course. What can we expect when the student takes Algebra II and later takes a course where algebra is a tool? He'll fall further and further behind because he hasn't grasped the material from the earlier courses. He'll graduate only if the fraudulent grading continues, and his job prospects will depend upon racial preferences.

 Here's my question to you: Can you think of a more effective way to discredit and cast doubt on the degrees of all students who graduate from Benedict? How would you like people to be certified in any activity that way -- your doctor, your tax accountant, your mechanic or anybody upon whom you depend for reliable proficient service? Whatever academic handicaps Benedict's students have when they enter -- their median SAT score is 803 -- are disguised and exacerbated by the school's SEE policy. As reported in The State, Harvard-educated Dr. Swinton admitted that he did not know of a policy like this at any other institution and said he would not use such a policy at a college with more stringent entrance criteria.

 The blame for this academic madness cannot wholly be placed at its president's feet. Benedict's Board of Trustees bears the blame for either enacting or tolerating this policy. Also culpable are those taxpayers and donors whose funds make it possible for this madness to continue.

 While I know it's probably not the case, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that members of the South Carolina Ku Klux Klan were Benedict's largest contributors.

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
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