...but in keeping with the juvenile dishonesty and dissembling with which we've all grown familiar in the philosophy blogosphere, Jenny Saul (Sheffield) and Justin Weinberg (South Carolina) both frames it that way (Saul, of course, without posting a link to the actual discussions about PhD programs that should probably close, since that degree of courtesy and honesty would be too difficult). Their purported source is Carolyn Dicey Jennings (UC Merced), who both links to my discussion and makes clear that her "provocative" question was not my question:
One striking feature of these lists is how many of the programs show up on Brian Leiter's list of PhD programs "whose existence is not easy to explain." A provocative rhetorical question follows: Should we be closing PhD programs that better serve women and minorities in philosophy?
"How many of the programs" show up? Ironically, of the 40 programs she lists based on percentage of non-white graduates, just three were on the lists of PhD programs whose rationale for existing I queried, while of the 41 programs she listed based on percentage of female graduates, only seven were on my list. The fact that some mediocre PhD programs enroll significant numbers of women and minorities ought, in a rational world, be all the more reason to be concerned, since to "better serve" underrepresented populations it is not enough to enroll them, one must give them good educations and launch them on the path to securing the gainful academic employment that the vast majority of them no doubt seek. So the answer to Prof. Jennings's "provocative" question is easy: PhD programs that actually "better serve" their students, including women and minorities, should not be closed, but there's no evidence any of the programs on her list are such programs.
What does all this tell us? It tells us, of course, that discussing the fact that there are too many PhD programs in philosophy in the U.S. touches a nerve, so much so that certain people will seize the opportunity to distort the discussion in any way possible.
UPDATE: David Wallace (Oxford) called out Saul's slimy dishonesty in the first comment, and she has now made a slight edit to the original misleading framing.
AND ONE MORE: Prof. Weinberg, to his credit, has linked to this rejoinder from his "heap of links," so I withdraw the suggestion that he meant to mislead anyone.