Diversity At The U.S. Naval Academy
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The Naval Academy at Annapolis is where the U.S. Navy educates officers. So what do you think is the number one priority at Annapolis?

Would it be educating future naval officers to defend our nation? Learning the regulations and traditions of the U.S. Navy? Studying oceanography, navigation, the operation of seagoing vessels and new technologies that affect naval operations? Learning about the world situation and possible future challenges? All of the above?

No, of course not. According to Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, “DIVERSITY” is the institution’s number one priority.

Bruce Fleming, English professor at Annapolis, is not in agreement, however. Fleming submitted a guest opinion to HometownAnnapolis.Com which was actually published. It’s entitled The Cost of a Diverse Naval Academyand I just wonder how long Professor Fleming will have his job! Here are some excerpts:

The Naval Academy superintendent, Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler… insisted recently that we needed to have Annapolis graduates who "looked like" the Fleet, where enlisted people are about 42 percent nonwhite, largely African American and Hispanic. The stunning revelation last week was that the Naval Academy had an incoming class that was "more diverse" than ever before: 35 percent minority. Sounds good, only this comes with a huge price tag. It's taxpayers who bankroll the military. Yet nobody has asked us if we're willing to pay this price. Instead we're being told there is no price to pay at all. If you believe that, you probably also believe in the Tooth Fairy.

A "diverse" class does not mean the Naval Academy recruits violinists, or older students (they can't be 23 on Induction Day), or gay people (who are thrown out) or foreign students (other than the dozen or so sent by client governments). It means applicants checked a box on their application that says they are Hispanic, African American, Native American, and now, since my time on the Admissions Board of the Academy, where I've taught for 22 years, Asians.

So how about those white applicants?

Midshipmen are admitted by two tracks. White applicants out of high school who are not also athletic recruits typically need grades of A and B and minimum SAT scores of 600 on each part for the Board to vote them "qualified." Athletics and leadership also count.A vote of "qualified" for a white applicant doesn't mean s/he's coming, only that he or she can compete to win the "slate" of up to 10 nominations that (most typically) a Congress(wo)man draws up. That means that nine "qualified" white applicants are rejected. SAT scores below 600 or C grades almost always produce a vote of "not qualified" for white applicants.

So, a SAT score below 600, or C grades, nearly always mean that a white applicant will not be accepted. Prof. Fleming continues...

Not so for an applicant who self-identifies as one of the minorities who are our "number one priority." For them, another set of rules apply. Their cases are briefed separately to the board, and SAT scores to the mid-500s with quite a few Cs in classes (and no visible athletics or leadership) typically produce a vote of "qualified" for them, with direct admission to Annapolis. They're in, and are given a pro forma nomination to make it legit. Minority applicants with scores and grades down to the 300s with Cs and Ds (and no particular leadership or athletics) also come, though after a remedial year at our taxpayer-supported remedial school, the Naval Academy Preparatory School.By using NAPS as a feeder, we've virtually eliminated all competition for "diverse" candidates: in theory they have to get a C average at NAPS to come to USNA, but this is regularly re-negotiated.

So what happens after the applicants become midshipmen?

Once at Annapolis, "diverse" midshipmen are over-represented in our pre-college classes, in lower-track courses, in mandatory tutoring programs and less challenging majors. Many struggle to master basic concepts. (I teach some of these courses.)Of course, some minority students are stellar, but they're the exception. Despite being dragged toward the finish line, minorities graduate at about a 10 percent lower rate than the whole class, which of course includes them (so the real split is greater). Don't want to believe me? Have a lawyer sit in on a year's worth of Admissions Board deliberations. Or better still, pray that one of the stellar white students rejected to give a seat to a "diverse" candidate sues us. That's the only way taxpayers will ever fully understand the price to them of "putting diversity first."

Read it all here.

Professor Fleming is a brave man to publish this. What's going to happen to him next?

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