Access and Diversity Collaborative at the Higher Education Colloquium
The Access and Diversity Collaborative will offer a workshop at the Higher Education Colloquium being held in Del Ray Beach, Florida on Jan. 10–12, 2015. The session will be held on Monday, Jan. 12, 12:45 to 3:30 p.m.
Introducing The Playbook: Using Race-Neutral Strategies Effectively, No Matter What “League” You’re In
The Playbook is designed to help institutions understand the full array of race-neutral strategies that have been adopted in higher education settings. Participants will brainstorm other strategies for ensuring diversity and are encouraged to bring their effective practices to the session to share with others.
Monday, Jan. 12, 12:45 to 3:30 p.m.
New Survey from American Council on Education Aims to Examine Changing Admissions Policies
The College Board’s Access & Diversity Collaborative has
partnered with the American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Research
and Strategy on a new survey study to examine how legal challenges to
race-conscious admissions have changed contemporary admissions practices at
selective colleges and universities.
If you are an enrollment or admissions director, please take
a moment fill out the confidential and anonymous survey that will help ACE and
its partners learn how recent state and federal legislation and court rulings
have impacted admissions practices, and how to better support institutions as
they work to increase diversity on campuses.
Appeals Court Upholds the University of Texas at Austin’s Use of Race and Ethnicity in Admission, Again!
On November 12, by a vote of 10–5, the full Fifth Circuit refused to hear the appeal of the three-judge panel decision on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin that upheld the University of Texas’s race-conscious admission policy as constitutional. That ruling has set the stage for a potential decision on the merits of the case by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 2013 on key legal issues while declining at that time to render a judgment on the merits of the UT admission policy.
The attorneys for plaintiff Abigail Fisher have indicated that they will ask the Supreme Court to hear the case by filing a petition for certiorari, which is due within 90 days of the Fifth Circuit’s denial of rehearing. (The response from UT will be due 30 days after Fisher’s lawyers file the petition.)
If certiorari is denied, the decision of the Fifth Circuit three-judge panel affirming the lawfulness of UT’s policy will stand. In the event that certiorari is granted, it is possible that the court could hear the case this term (by June 30, 2015), but that is far from certain. The court does not have a formal rule about how long it can take to decide to grant certiorari, meaning that it may not make a decision on whether to rehear the case until weeks or months after the petition is filed.
Read the Access and Diversity Collaborative’s case analysis of the previous Fifth Circuit decision of July 15, 2014.
Direct New Challenges to Bakke Ruling: Harvard and UNC Chapel Hill Sued by Fisher Supporter
Two lawsuits were filed on November 17, 2014, in the Third and Fourth Circuit Courts against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, respectively. The lawsuits are designed to initiate the same process of judicial review of the use of race and ethnicity in college admission that was the central issue in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.
Both lawsuits were filed by an organization created by Edward Blum, who instigated the case against the University of Texas in Fisher. Students for Fair Admissions is the plaintiff, but each case references an anonymous applicant to each institution. The cases are focused on the findings of the Bakke case of 1978, which set the stage for limited use of race and ethnicity in college admission and demands the outright probation of “racial preferences” in college admission.
The Access & Diversity collaborative is monitoring the evolution of these lawsuits and will provide additional analysis as the cases evolve.