Professor Harvey Mansfield Continues to Scapegoat Blacks for Grade Inflation at Harvard:
In a recent interview with the conservative monthly The Dartmouth Review, Harvey C. Mansfield, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University, reiterated his now two-decade-long campaign to blame black students for the onset of grade inflation at Harvard. In The Dartmouth Review interview Mansfield said, "I was at Harvard in the late 1960s when grade inflation was getting started and that was the same time as the influx of black students there. I could see that the white professors were very unwilling to give a C to a black kid who was coming in. It seemed only fair not to give Cs to white kids either."
But as JBHE has shown on many occasions going back to 1993, grade inflation was well established at Harvard prior to the major influx of black students in 1969. In 1946 about 31 percent of students earning bachelor's degrees at Harvard earned departmental honors for achieving a high grade point average. By 1964, when there were almost no blacks at Harvard, more than 60 percent of the students graduated with honors. JBHE research has shown that the sharpest increases in grade inflation were in the 1958 to 1964 period, a time when blacks were almost nonexistent on the Harvard campus.
It is said that Professor Mansfield is a charismatic lecturer. And his deposition to blame blacks for lower standards at Harvard pleases many. But as a scholar he appears to be somewhat of a lightweight. A JBHE citation analysis survey found that of all the full professors in the department of government at Harvard, Mansfield ranked very near the bottom.