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Texas Returns to Affirmative Action
Readjustment and confusion in the aftermath of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions


(Photo By Peter Ensenberger, Black Star, For CrossTalk)

In less than two years as president of Arizona State University, Michael Crow has won wide support on campus and in the state for what he calls "A New American University."
( more)

Texas Returns to Affirmative Action
Readjustment and confusion in the aftermath of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions

Can Athletics and Academics Coexist?
Colleges and universities wrestle with big-time sports

A Helping Hand
The Community College of Denver reaches out to first-generation students

Ambitious Agenda
Michael Crow has brought an entrepreneurial spirit to Arizona State University

News From The Center
- Clark Kerr
- Howard "Pete" Rawlings
- Lumina Foundation
- Virginia B. Smith Award

Responding to the Crisis
in College Opportunity

A Special Supplement to National CrossTalk
(PDF file 350Kb download)

Other Voices
Access Denied
Low-income students are hit hardest by the latest round of tuition hikes and budget cuts

The Business We're In
When standard formulas fail, the work of policymakers has got to change

"Policy Speak" in the Crosshairs
Jargon-heads face friendly fire

By Carl Irving
Austin, Texas

The University of Texas' flagship campus here plans to restore affirmative action in undergraduate admissions in the fall of 2005, using guidelines the campus administration believes to be consistent with last summer's 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

To support this change, the admissions office has gathered evidence that white students dominate most smaller, discussion-sized classes, which have few if any African American or Hispanic students.

This year's freshman class at the University of Texas-Austin is 16 percent Hispanic, four percent African American. Returning to affirmative action should increase those numbers.
(Photo By Jana Birchum, Black Star, for CrossTalk)
A recent month-long survey of 3,600 current undergraduate classes, each with five to 24 students enrolled, found that 90 percent had one or no African Americans, and 43 percent had one or no Hispanics. Less than two percent of the classes had one or no whites, who are expected to become a minority of the state's population next year.

UT-Austin officials believe this discovery vividly illustrates a problem that the Supreme Court majority wants the nation's campuses to address-the lack of a "critical mass" of underrepresented minority students, enough so that they "do not feel isolated or like spokespersons for their race."

The decision agreed with challenges to University of Michigan undergraduate admissions policies, which had involved racial quotas. But in directly addressing the issue of affirmative action in higher education admissions for the first time in 25 years, the court said racial and ethnic backgrounds for underrepresented minorities could be used as one positive factor among others in deciding which students to admit. (continue)


Can Athletics and Academics Coexist?
Colleges and universities wrestle with big-time sports

By Don Campbell
Athens, Georgia

It's halftime here in Bulldog Nation, where the University of Georgia football team is hosting the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

What was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Bulldogs-it's homecoming, for Pete's sake-is deadlocked at 10 to 10. In the 50 plush sky suites that hover over 92,000 fans in Sanford Stadium, there are nervous looks and muted grumbling. But the mood brightens as the elite of Bulldog boosters turn their attention to chafing dishes piled high with catered delicacies. Wine is flowing almost as freely as the sweetened iced tea, and in the sky-suite foyer, dessert tables overflow with delectable sweets.

92,000 fans pack the University of Georgia's Sanford Stadium for most football games. The university fields winning teams and graduates a high percentage of its athletes.
(Photo By Robin Nelson, Black Star, for CrossTalk)

Suddenly, a buzz sweeps the crowd as an elevator door opens and out bounds Uga VI, Georgia's beloved snow-white English bulldog mascot, trailed by a retinue that includes several photographers and a beefy, uniformed police officer. At 55 pounds and sporting a 36-13 record after four years of prowling the sidelines, Uga (pronounced Ugg-ah) is the sixth of his family called to duty-all five of his mascot ancestors are buried in marble vaults on a hillside outside the stadium.

Straining at his leash, the red-sweatered Uga paws and snuffles his way toward the UGA Alumni Association suite, where he dutifully poses for dozens of pictures under the watchful eyes of his handlers and the Athens-Clarke County police officer. (continue)


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