Thursday, October 23, 2003

They wouldn't know an individual if they saw one 

Discriminations is carrying a story on how colleges and universities are finding it difficult to manage the requirements of the Michigan decisions. We recall from almost four months ago this article by Peter Kirsanow, and now it appears to be coming true. From today's Chronicle of Higher Education (subscribers only):
Among the college officials on hand here and at similar gatherings held around the nation since June, the chief fear was that the Supreme Court may have opened the door to new legal assaults on race-exclusive scholarship and financial-aid programs, by holding that colleges must treat students as individuals, rather than as members of particular racial groups.
It's no longer clear if employment decisions can be decided by race, nor if one can have separated dorms. The very phrase "affirmative action" is being discouraged, says Arthur Coleman, a former Clinton official in the education department.
[He] urged those present to not even use the term "affirmative action," which typically has referred to efforts to remedy past racial discrimination, and, he said, would be "a red flag" for potential legal challenges if used in admissions policies....

"You are not in the position of being social-justice police," Mr. Coleman warned. "We are not fundamentally talking about affirmative action when we talk about diversity in higher education. Let's get that concept embedded in how we think about these issues."
This is going to break the hearts of our gang here. They are still holding out hope for attaining "critical mass" which, as a commenter on Discriminations suggests, should be followed according to the laws of physics.