Letter to the Editor: Best qualified should be based on merit and achievement, not quotas


Responding to the reader invitation to submit responses to Thomas C. Patterson’s Guest Commentary, “Should diversity, equity, inclusion be required in academics’ work?” (March 12): As a retired academic library director (from a university where medical and computer degrees and research were prominent), I never heard talk of racism, favoritism or the like; instead, merit and high achievement were the norm for both students and faculty. And, as a user of two of the medical programs, the best qualified medical teachers and practitioners were in my best interest.

But, looking beyond the academic focus of that commentary, I respectfully submit that filling jobs via “merit and highest relevant qualifications” is beneficial to consumers. Whether those consumers are students or users of academic research findings or, instead, ordinary people like me, it seems that merit-based producers and products would be in our best interest.

I believe consumers welcome the freedom to choose the best qualified doctor, contractor or builder, vehicle or appliance manufacturer, etc., regardless of race. And, without any “forced quotas of any type,” we see that qualified people of varied races, religions and backgrounds are employed anyway.

Karen Smiga


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