Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF to Put One Florida Plan on Hold NAACP Challenges Rules of Bush Initiative

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF to Put One Florida Plan on Hold NAACP Challenges Rules of Bush Initiative

Article excerpt

The University of Florida will not be following One Florida Initiative guidelines for fall admissions this year.

An administrative challenge filed by the NAACP against Gov. Jeb Bush's initiative may put the program's implementation for the fall semester at other state universities in jeopardy.

"The chancellor said it was about the last possible moment to implement it for this year when it passed the state Board of Education last week," said Board of Regents spokesman Keith Goldschmidt.

While the rules around which One Florida is based are being challenged, they cannot be implemented. Goldschmidt said a decision has not been made as to when the rules would take effect if they are too late for fall.

The initiative would eliminate race-based preferences in university admissions and public contracting. Another part of the plan, called the Talented 20, would guarantee that all students in the top 20 percent of their graduating class be admitted to one of the 10 state universities.

Five of the state's 10 public universities already do not use race as an admissions criteria, including the University of North Florida and Florida State University. Policies at those schools, Goldschmidt said, are not affected.

University of Florida spokesman John Lester said the rule challenge will not affect the school's admissions process for fall.

"Most of our fall 2000 class has already been admitted," Lester said.

At Florida Atlantic University, however, a few students will wait until the challenge is resolved to find out if they were admitted, Director of Admissions Richard Griffin said.

"We've let them know they're being deferred and we're waiting on this issue," Griffin said.

The school has been successful in admitting minorities under One Florida's profile assessment program, Griffin said, using socioeconomic status and "first generation in college" factors instead of racial- or gender-based criteria. …

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