Race and College Admissions

A Case for Affirmative Action

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About the Book

Affirmative action was meant to redress the lingering vestiges of the discrimination and exclusion so prominent in America’s past and afford underrepresented groups the opportunities most take for granted. Its impact on higher learning has been immeasurable: diversity is part of the mission of most colleges and universities, and exposure to a variety of ethnicities, cultures and perspectives benefits all. Yet institutions are scrambling to reevaluate their mission and methods as courts mandate colorblind admissions and affirmative action is misconstrued and attacked as reverse discrimination, patronizing and insulting to minorities, or simply unnecessary. Diversity has plummeted on many campuses as a result, and elite institutions now struggle to enroll underrepresented groups. Discussions of the controversy reflect little understanding of the role of race in college admissions, ignore the fact that eligibility does not guarantee admission, and falsely cast affirmative action as a policy based on race alone.

This assessment of the role of race in college admissions examines misconceptions surrounding affirmative action and the place of race in the admission process. Chapters explore declining diversity; the effect upon professional schools; the historical perspective of the subject; the courts’ role in affirmative action; inequities in the admissions process; percentage plans as an alternative; the detrimental results of “colorblind” admissions; and ways to address the problem.

About the Author(s)

Jamillah Moore is the vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at San Francisco State University. Previously, she served as the president of Cañada College in Redwood City. A prominent social justice advocate and higher education leader, she is recognized as an advocate for educational access and equity with a focus on student success.

Bibliographic Details

Jamillah Moore

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 271
Bibliographic Info: tables, diagrams, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1984-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Preface      ix
Introduction      1

1. The Grim Reality      5
2. The Professional School Armageddon      46
3. Historical Perspective      75
4. The Courts and Affirmative Action      96
5. Inequities in the System      155
6. Percentage Plans to the Rescue      175
7. To Be Color-blind or Not?      196
8. Can We Fix the Problem?      211

Appendix: Affirmative Action Timeline      231
Notes      235
Bibliography      245
Index      253