ERIC Number: EJ1095042
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Behind the Headlines: Remembering the Fundamentals about Diversity
Coleman, Arthur L.
Liberal Education, v100 n2 Spr 2014
After a decade of silence, the US Supreme Court in two recent cases has spoken on issues of race and ethnicity in higher education--in June 2013, with its "Fisher v. University of Texas" opinion, and in April 2014, with the "Schuette v. BAMN" decision. In "Fisher," the court amplified and elaborated on key points of its "affirmative action" jurisprudence (principally emphasizing the need to consider and, where appropriate, try race-neutral alternatives). In "Schuette," the court ruled that race-conscious admissions practices by public institutions may in most cases be controlled through the ballot box. Although the more immediate and operational questions posed by higher education leaders in the wake of those decisions are today front and center--What does this mean for me? What do I need to do differently? How should I proceed in light of these decisions?--we should not let the important details of the decisions distract from the fundamentals associated with educational diversity. These fundamentals are sometimes too easy to bypass in the mad dash to interpret court opinions and read the tea leaves regarding what's to come. This article outlines several key points that remain central to deliberations and decision making within higher education as institutions of higher education strive to pursue the educational benefits of diversity. The author reminds administrators to remember the bigger picture of what our higher education institutions hope to accomplish in service to their students, their communities, and the country.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Court Litigation, Equal Education, Racial Factors, Student Diversity, Affirmative Action, Social Justice
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A