Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Massey Addresses Affirmative Action at ACE

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Massey Addresses Affirmative Action at ACE

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Morehouse College President Walter Massey was this year's opening speaker at the 81st annual meeting of the American Council on Education, which attracted some 1,300 higher education leaders from around the country.

Massey used the forum as an opportunity to make a case for affirmative action and to urge his peers to recognize the role historically Black institutions continue to make to society.

"There certainly is no more difficult challenge before us today than the issue of race and affirmative action in higher education," Massey told the group.

"Let me say, I do not attribute ulterior or racist motives to all of those opposed to affirmative action.... But no matter how much goodwill I ascribe to such people, there are clearly some who are simply discriminatory ...

"There is an opportunity to make the case that affirmative action is still needed and to convince the majority of the public that it is not detrimental to them or to society at large to continue such programs. However, in order to make this case, we will have to marshal evidence of the type developed by [Dr. William] Bowen and [Derek] Bok -- and ensure that the programs that are in place do, in fact, achieve their ends."

Later in the conference, attendees heard from Bowen and Bok themselves. After the two authors of The Shape of the River: Long Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions--who also are former presidents of Ivy League universities--shared highlights from their book, conferees were allowed to share their personal views on these sensitive issues. …

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