On Wednesday (3-20), the University of California Berekley released a report stating that a federal investigation cleared the school of seven-year-old charges that its admissions policies discriminated against whites. The probe also found that academic performance improved under the campus’ affirmative action program, and did not decline, as alleged by critics.
The report came two days after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the University of Texas could not pursue affirmative action strategies to increase diversity on campus. UT administrators said that black and Hispanic admissions might drop by half or more if the university has to conform to the ruling. Supporters of affirmative action programs hope the Supreme Court will hear the case and rule differently.
“Obviously, if this is upheld, all selective universities will have difficulty in trying to achieve the goal of a diverse student body,” said UT president Robert Berdahl. “These are the kind of institutions that produce the leaders for their states and the country, and for their students to be educated in predominantly white, segregated environments, is not, I think, in the best interests of the students.”