Re "Supreme Court tests for civil rights," Editorial, Oct. 1
The University of Texas' policy of admitting all students who finish in the top 10% of their classes is a major endeavor toward diversity. But Texas bowed to the continued whining over diversity when it began to consider race as a factor in freshman admissions.
The hysteria over diversity is out of control. Any institution that is truly diverse should be proud that it is so. But the voices that demand diversity in every sector of our society are confused. Achieving a nation of ubiquitous diversity is almost impossible.
The University of Texas did enough with its 10% policy. It should return to it.
Re "Affirmative action gets new Supreme Court test," Sept. 28
The data reported in this article on the pending University of Texas affirmative action case at the Supreme Court are potentially misleading.
At issue in the lawsuit is the 2008 admissions cycle, when 20% of African Americans and 15% of Latinos were offered admission through holistic admissions outside the 10% plan. The decision to consider race was informed by the university's half a dozen years of using the 10% plan without affirmative action, when only 3.8% of freshmen admits were African American. In the years leading up to this lawsuit, when the university included the holistic consideration of race, 5.3% of freshmen admits were African American.
This is a substantial difference that matters as far as classroom learning and beyond. It is one of several reasons why 444 American social scientists signed a brief arguing that the 10% plan is not sufficient to foster a truly diverse learning environment.
The writer is the assistant provost of UC Riverside.
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