Little Asia on the Hill

Today's New York Times picks up where Dan Golden left off a while back in the Wall Street Journal, where he reported on Asian quotas at top colleges. (See my blog entry about that article here.) The NYT article profiles a profound demographic shift at Berkeley, where racial preferences have been banned by state law and Asian students now make up 46% of this year's freshman class. (They make up 41% of the overall undergraduate population, and 12% of Californians.)

The most interesting point comes from the chairman of Berkeley's History department, David A. Hollinger, who points out that the term "Asian" doesn't even mean anything in this context, because the category describes Chinese, Koreans, Pakistanis, Filipinos, Japanese, and Sri Lankans, among others.

Still, even if the term "Asian" covers a wide span of the globe, the demographic shift towards Asian students is fascinating and controversial when the state's flagship taxpayer funded school looks so different from the state itself.