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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Outreach and Affirmative Action

June 26, 2003

"For Diversity, UC Uses Outreach" (June 22) reports that "outreach at best has helped keep the UC from losing ground in its enrollment of underrepresented minorities" and that "enrollment of underrepresented minorities at UC has increased only slightly since affirmative action was banned." At best? Only slightly? I'm confused. Don't these facts imply that outreach works as well or better than affirmative action?

Mark Srednicki

Santa Barbara

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Outreach, according to your article, is an alternative to affirmative action? False! Outreach is one of several tools of affirmative action and has been used since President Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 of 1965 requiring affirmative action in employment by federal contractors. Indeed, one of the tools not allowed in federal affirmative action is minority preferences, so when the state government in Hawaii instituted affirmative action in response to my civil rights complaint in the mid-1970s there was never any thought of using minority preferences. The Times, UC Vice President Winston Doby and UC Regent Ward Connerly do a disservice to the principle of affirmative action (encouraging diversity) by pretending otherwise.

Michael Haas

Los Angeles

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