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Race Preferences Challenged

Locke Releases Trustee Handbook On Admissions

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January 26, 1999

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RALEIGH — The John Locke Foundation has released a new handbook advising North Carolina college and university trustees on the legal implications of race preferences in higher education.

The handbook, a joint project of Locke’s Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and the Washington-based Center for Individual Rights, informs trustees, legislators, and other university leaders about recent court decisions on preferences and affirmative action policy in college admissions.

“University leaders need to consider the legal exposure their schools face if they continue to use racial preferences to admit students,” said John Hood, president of the Locke Foundation. “This handbook will help stimulate informed debate and discussion about how best to promote equal educational opportunities for all North Carolinians.”

The handbook examines recent cases involving racial preferences at the university level as well as in other areas such as employment and contracting. It also analyzes the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case in 1978 that many universities have cited as the legal basis for using racial quotas to achieve “diversity.” The handbook notes that in even in the Bakke case a majority of the Supreme Court rejected the use of preferences to promote racial diversity, and that subsequent cases have confirmed that decision.

“It’s time for educational leaders in North Carolina to grapple with the real problem — poor preparation of minority students in the middle- and high-school grades,” said Hood. “No amount of racial tipping of the scales at the college level can make up for poor public schooling.”

For more information about the handbook, call the Foundation at 919-828-3876.


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