Two suggestions for improving diversity at the University and beyond. These cost no money and can be implemented immediately. 

Discourage faculty from attending academic meetings that only feature white men on the program or panel. There is no academic field exclusively made up of white men, and there is no reason that professional activities should be either. Speakers are often chosen out of convenience by organizers from the pool of their acquaintances; they should be forced to seek out other voices. If faculty don’t attend, they should let the organizers know why. Changing demand will change supply.

Eliminate legacy admission preference. Children of Princeton alumni are already preferentially advantaged with highly educated parents who are more likely to have the resources to help their children succeed in high school and on standardized testing. Although legacy admission odds are higher than general population (about 15 percent vs. 5 percent), they are still low odds, and most legacies are rejected anyway. In my experience of alumni interviewing amazing candidates over a decade, including areas of both inner city and rural New Jersey that are underrepresented at Princeton, the only two accepted were legacies, one of whom I reported was the worst candidate I had ever interviewed. There is little justification for legacies; the most common excuse is that it increases donations. One could imagine that a first-generation alumni of color who becomes financially successful might have greater gratitude than a fifth-generation admission. As Beni Snow wrote in The Daily Princetonian in 2017: “Princeton should accept students based on what they have accomplished, not based on the accomplishments of their families.”

Eric Geller ’83
Millburn, N.J.