ERIC Number: ED435367
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
The Compelling Need for Diversity in Higher Education.
Sugrue, Thomas; Foner, Eric; Camarillo, Albert; Gurin, Patricia; Bowen, William; Steele, Claude; Bok, Derek; Syverud, Kent; Webster, Robert B.
The Center for Individual Rights (CIR) represented three white applicants who brought the two lawsuits, "Gratz, et al., v Bollinger, et al., No. 97-75231 (E.D.Mich.)" and "Grutter, et al. v. Bollinger, et al., No. 97-75928 (E.D. Mich.)," against the University of Michigan. These lawsuits challenge as unlawful the University of Michigan's policy of considering race as one of many factors in the process for admissions to the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, and the Law School. The University of Michigan brought together a team of leading scholars to serve as its experts in these cases to establish the basis for the University's argument that there is a compelling need for diversity in higher education. Thomas Sugrue of the University of Pennsylvania describes the important role that race continues to play in modern American society. Eric Foner of Columbia University (New York) describes the history of race relations through the lens of the African-American experience and Albert Camarillo of Stanford University (California) explains that Hispanic Americans have been largely marginalized and separated from mainstream American society. Patricia Gurin of the University of Michigan presents evidence showing that students educated in diverse classrooms learn to think in more complex ways. William Bowen, president of the Mellon Foundation (Pennsylvania), and Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University (Massachusetts), cite their recent book, "The Shape of the River," in which they find that minorities admitted to the nation's most selective schools have made significant achievements, both in school and afterwards and have contributed in important ways to the education of those around them. Claude Steele at Stanford University notes the limited usefulness of standardized tests in the admissions process, citing research that finds that prevailing stereotypes about minorities' academic capabilities artificially depress minority students' test scores. Specifically addressing the law school admissions process, Kent Syverud of Vanderbilt University Law School (Tennessee) shows how a diverse law school class provides a more vibrant and lively opportunity for learning than could otherwise be achieved; Robert Webster, a former judge and former president of the Michigan State Bar Association, describes the importance of diversity to the practice of law. (JM)
Descriptors: Affirmative Action, Black Stereotypes, Blacks, Court Litigation, Cultural Pluralism, Desegregation Litigation, Desegregation Methods, Diversity (Student), Higher Education, Hispanic Americans, Legal Education (Professions), Legal Problems, Minority Groups, Multicultural Education, Racial Balance, Racial Bias, Racial Integration, Selective Admission
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Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Michigan Univ., Ann Arbor.