I have always felt that The Review of Higher Education must be committed to the publication of scholarly work that is varied in thought, perspectives, paradigms, and authors. To this end, it is my belief that The Review's conception of diversity should represent frameworks and variables of race, ethnicity, exceptionalities in education, gender, policy issues, and culture. As with the representation of a mixture of theory, perceptions, and points of view, methodological approaches and techniques used in the investigation of different phenomena should also display a multiplicity of viewpoints. I believe that the notion of diversity in research must be contextualized; that is, multiple perspectives must be embedded in the social and cultural environment of the subjects/participants, institutions, and organizations that we study.
However (and it's a big "however"), as we vigilantly strive for inclusiveness in the selection of manuscripts to be published by the journal, the notion of acceptance for the sake of diversity must never be a consideration. That being said, it must also always be a priority for an editor to aggressively seek research pieces that are diverse, rigorous, conceptually sound, and empirically valid.
A final note on my vision for the journal: We find ourselves at a time when the opinions and actions generated by higher education are dangerously serious and highly sensitive—financial aid policies, national testing requirements, and significant reductions in research grants. One such pressing issue affecting students, faculty, and administrators is achieving true universal access to higher education and the role that court decisions ultimately have on affirmative action and admissions. It is because of the seriousness of decisions that have been made and will continue to be made [End Page 167] with respect to admissions, financial assistance, and other issues that The Review has a responsibility to soundly inform public policy, policymakers, and institutional reform and interventions. Among the voices that are used to inform those in positions to make a difference, many are groundless, uninformed, and, at times, just plain foolish. It is my desire that The Review of Higher Education continues to be viewed as one of the few remaining rational voices today.
This special issue of The Review provides a historical perspective on the issue of universal access to higher education, the evolution of affirmative action as a social movement, a philosophical view of our institutions as a "place" for all students, two realistic profiles of the effects of past legislation on admissions policies and student enrollments, and finally, what comes next after the Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action.