Leave some brown people for other departments

Our department did a self-study, and part of this process was to identify goals for the department. One of the goals we identified is diversifying the faculty.

However, in response to this suggestion, one of my colleagues protested as follows:

“If less than 5% of philosophy Ph.D.’s go to minorities, then not every philosophy department can have even one minority on its faculty, since most philosophy department faculties are much smaller than twenty, and one out of twenty is 5%. So more diversity for one institution necessarily means less diversity for another. I believe that is something for us to think about in relation to what we often call the ‘common good.'”

So the lesson is this: we shouldn’t diversify too much lest we detract from the common good. We’ve got to leave some brown people for other departments.