Peter Brooks reminds critics:

American higher education is a nonsystem that is messy, reduplicative, unfairjust like American society as a wholebut it has made genuine commitments to quality and to a greater degree of social justice, to the extent that is within its control, than most other institutions of the society. It has brought new blood into old elitist institutions, and indeed has thoroughly scrambled the hereditary caste it began with. You have simply to walk the paths of any reputable American university today to see that the student population looks like the range of American ethnicitiesfar more than many other institutions.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to