Paul Lauter

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1974


There seems to be a trap lying in wait not too far down the road for those of us committed to affirmative action. Let's carry out the logic of "open hiring" procedures-if we may use that term to describe a process of broad advertising and search to fill each vacant position. Increasingly, in a tight job market, every advertisement produces a flood of applications: 90 to fill one history position; hundreds to fill another. Even the most humane committee or administrator will search for mechanical means to categorize a large number of unknown quantities. The logic of the process leads toward "weighing" applicants by as many "objective" standards as one can find. Those who score highest on the "objective" measures become finalists. That way, "merit" will allegedly emerge, and in that manner, everyone will have had allegedly equal opportunity to demonstrate merit.



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