Magazine article University Business

Taking Sides: Bush Administration Weighs in on Affirmative Action. (in the News)

Magazine article University Business

Taking Sides: Bush Administration Weighs in on Affirmative Action. (in the News)

Article excerpt

A simmering national debate became a potential boiling pot in mid-January when the Bush administration filed a legal brief with the Supreme Court, opposing the University of Michigan's admission policies.

President Bush had earlier been prodded by affirmative action opponents to weigh in on the case that is now before the Supreme Court, in which three white students claimed they were denied admission to U Michigan in favor of lesser-qualified black students.

In a carefully worded statement, the president said he was a firm supporter of equal access in higher education, but the U Michigan policies were "fundamentally flawed and unconstitutional."

"University officials have the responsibility and the obligation to make a serious, effective effort to reach out to students from all walks of life without falling back on unconstitutional quotas," Bush said. "Schools should seek diversity by considering a broad range of Factors in admissions, including a student's potential and life experiences."

Bush's action, while seen by some as potentially polarizing--especially after the fallout from racial remarks made by Sen. Trent Lott--is consistent with his long-standing opinions on the subject. …

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