Moreover, according to the U.S. News & World Report rankings, four of the 25 most diverse among the so-called national universities are UC campuses, including UCLA (No. 11), Berkeley (No. 16) and San Diego (No. 22). In terms of economic diversity among "top-ranked" national universities, U.S. News ranks UCLA and Berkeley No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.
In fact, the University of California is an unequaled example of a world-class institution of higher learning maintaining its preeminent status while also addressing the needs of disadvantaged students who have academic potential, a record of success and a desire to succeed — not an easy task, especially in economically tough times. This year's admits have an average GPA of 3.84.
In reality, despite the coalition's lawsuit, the principles that underlay Proposition 209 have proved themselves correct. The belief that minorities could and would succeed in a system free of discrimination and preferential biases is true. The presence of minorities and disadvantaged students throughout UC is vindication of a traditional American concept: The state should not discriminate against anyone or give preferences to anyone on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color or sex, a concept Californians understand, enacted into law and are now reaping the benefits of.
David A. Lehrer is the president and Joe R. Hicks the vice president of Community Advocates Inc. , a human relations organization based in Los Angeles that is chaired by former Mayor Richard Riordan.