Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

A Sign of the Times

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

A Sign of the Times

Article excerpt

The second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark rulings in the University of Michigan's Grutter v. Bollinger and the Gratz v. Bollinger affirmative action cases provides the backdrop of this year's Top 100 graduate school edition. Reports from senior writer Ronald Roach and assistant editor Kendra Hamilton document the changes that graduate school pipeline programs are having to make in order to avoid legal challenges.

In July 2001, Ronald profiled the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship Program, which had become one of the premier pipelines for producing minority doctorates. Fast forward to 2005 and he is once again reporting on the Mellon program - but for different reasons.

Previously, colleges, universities and foundations such as Mellon and Ford worked hard to attract and support underrepresented minorities in graduate school. But due to the activism of opponents of race-conscious affirmative action, such as the Sterling, Va.-based Center for Equal Opportunity, and the actions of the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, dozens of institutions have either modified or dropped their specially targeted scholarships and academic enrichment programs. In "Affirmative Action Fallout," Ronald writes that the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund officials have raised strong objections to what they perceive as OCR's attempt to shut down the use of race-conscious measures despite the Supreme Court's affirmation of them in the 2003 cases.

When one surveys the Top 100 graduate schools of master's and doctoral degrees conferred to Black, Hispanic and American Indians it becomes quite clear why these targeted programs were created in the first place. Representation by these groups in disciplines and professional fields across the board remain quite low even after four decades of affirmative action. That programs designed to provide financial, academic and social support for under-represented minorities in graduate education are under pressure to accept students from well-represented groups is causing alarm among those who have worked hard to have minority access broadened.

While private efforts such as those of the Ford Foundation and the Mellon Foundation will continue to be somewhat effective at attracting and supporting under-represented minorities to enter the professoriate, the concern is that they will produce fewer Ph. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.