All posts tagged: business leaders

Universities Don’t Sacrifice Excellence for Diversity

Universities Don’t Sacrifice Excellence for Diversity

[ad_1] A noxious and surprisingly commonplace myth has taken hold in recent years, alleging that elite universities have pursued diversity at the expense of scholarly excellence. Much the reverse is true: Efforts to grow and embrace diversity at America’s great research universities have made them better than ever. If you want excellence, you need to find, attract, and support talent from every sector of society, not just from privileged groups and social classes. As the president of Princeton University, I see the benefits of that strategy on a daily basis—and never more vividly than when Princeton recognizes its most accomplished alumni. Later this month, for example, the university will honor Fei-Fei Li, a Chinese American immigrant who spent college weekends helping with her family’s dry-cleaning business, and now co-directs Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. Li exemplifies the connection between excellence and diversity, as do other recent Princeton-alumni award recipients, including American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero, who grew up in a low-income housing project in the Bronx; Ariel Investments’ co–chief executive officer, …

Why America Abandoned the Greatest Economy in History

Why America Abandoned the Greatest Economy in History

[ad_1] If there is one statistic that best captures the transformation of the American economy over the past half century, it may be this: Of Americans born in 1940, 92 percent went on to earn more than their parents; among those born in 1980, just 50 percent did. Over the course of a few decades, the chances of achieving the American dream went from a near-guarantee to a coin flip. What happened? One answer is that American voters abandoned the system that worked for their grandparents. From the 1940s through the ’70s, sometimes called the New Deal era, U.S. law and policy were engineered to ensure strong unions, high taxes on the rich, huge public investments, and an expanding social safety net. Inequality shrank as the economy boomed. But by the end of that period, the economy was faltering, and voters turned against the postwar consensus. Ronald Reagan took office promising to restore growth by paring back government, slashing taxes on the rich and corporations, and gutting business regulations and antitrust enforcement. The idea, famously, …

Gay Talese: I Wanted to Write About Nobodies

Gay Talese: I Wanted to Write About Nobodies

[ad_1] When I first spoke with Alden Whitman, the chief obituary writer for The New York Times from 1964 to 1976, I was stunned to hear him say that he did not expect to live much longer. I didn’t reply, thinking that this 52-year-old man must be kidding—he was being melodramatic or had spent so much time writing about death that the subject was consuming him. “I’m really not well,” he continued softly. “I’ve recently returned from eight weeks at Knickerbocker Hospital following a major heart attack, and I’m concerned that the next experience could be fatal.” He was sitting on a sofa across from me in the living room of his apartment on the 12th floor of an old brick building on West 116th Street. We were surrounded by shelves packed with books, and there were even more books stacked below on the floor. He shared the apartment with his third wife, Joan, 16 years his junior. They had met seven years earlier, in 1958, at the Times, where she was an editor in …