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President Bollinger, Provost Cole, University of Michigan's Marvin Krislov Discuss Affirmative Action during Dinkins Forum

While the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of affirmative action in college admissions, last month the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum brought policy leaders, including Lee C. Bollinger and Marvin Krislov, University of Michigan, together to review the merits of diversity in higher education. The forum was sponsored by the School of International and Public Affairs.

David Dinkins
 
David Dinkins

Dinkins Offered Welcoming Remarks
David Dinkins, Columbia professor in the practice of public affairs, former mayor of New York City and long-time affirmative action advocate, offered welcoming remarks.

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Lee Bollinger
 
Lee Bollinger

Bollinger Traced History of Civil Rights in Higher Education, Said Much Still Needs to Be Done
In higher education we have gone from a point in the late 1960s/early 1970s, where civil rights were regarded as utterly crucial and central, to a period of silence during which its opponents rose up and captured many sorts of feelings that are not the better side of American life, to a point where it looked like the movement was over, said President Lee C. Bollinger. From that moment to this [the verge of a Supreme Court decision on the Michigan case] I think we were able to capture some of the sensibilities of this issue, he said. I do not think we have recaptured enough. We still have much more to do.

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Ted Shaw
 
Ted Shaw

Shaw Moderates 'Affirmative Action and the Law,' Introduced Panel
Ted Shaw, associate director-counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, moderated the discussion on "Affirmative Action and the Law" and introduced the panel. He also reflected on his own role in the Michigan cases. He is the lead attorney for black and Latino students in the undergraduate case and filed an amicus brief in the Law School case.

Real (10:41)Video
Marvin Krislov
 
Marvin Krislov

Major Corporations Support Michigan's Policies, Seek Supply of Qualified Minority Graduates, Said Krislov
Marvin Krislov, vice president and general counsel for the University of Michigan, described the meaning of the Bakke case and how the University used the case to create its policies. He also examined the impact of the current case on the country, saying, over 70 major corporations filed amicus briefs on the University of Michigan's behalf. The companies said it was very important for them to be the recipients of graduates educated in diverse environments and to have a supply of highly qualified, highly capable minority graduates.

Real (16:41)Video
Luke Charles Harris
 
Luke Charles Harris

Affirmative Action Is a Bridge to Equal Opportunity, Explained Harris
I think the terms of debate set up in the Bakke case are partly responsible for the ideas of reverse discrimination, of this notion that there are stigmatizing effects of affirmative action on minorities that dominate the debate on this topic, said Luke Charles Harris, associate professor of political science at Vasser College. Properly understood, affirmative action does not promote preferences, it is an efficient, effective tool to counteract preferences built into institutions for some Americans and not others.

Real (14:47)Video
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw
 
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

Without the Diversity Rationale, Institutions May Struggle to Distinguish between Preference, Discrimination, Argued Crenshaw
Institutional consensus over diversity-based rationales for affirmative action actually function to mask sharply divergent ideas and beliefs about the values and fairness of traditional criteria for distributing educational opportunities, said Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, Columbia law professor. The California experience might give us an idea of the institutional struggle that we may have to engage in to distinguish between preference and discrimination.

Real (11:11)Video
Neil Rudenstine
 
Neil Rudenstine

Diversity Enhances Education, Said Rudenstine
Having an admissions policy that places high value on diversity and education at the same time does produce enhanced education for students, said Neil L. Rudenstine, former Harvard president. Without the diversity argument, what criteria will you use? At this moment in history, it is very difficult to find a set of arguments that doesn't rest fundamentally on diversity, he explained.

Real (10:41)Video
Jonathan Cole
 
Jonathan Cole

It Would Be Unfortunate if the Supreme Court Rolls Back the Evolution of Social Values, Said Cole
It would be extremely unfortunate if the Supreme Court does not side with Michigan, essentially rolling back something which is evident in the amicus briefs in this case -- the evolution of social values and internalization and embeddedness of these social values and changes that have occurred since Brown vs. Board of Education and since Bakke, said Provost Jonathan Cole.

Real (14:06)Video
Khin Mai Aung
 
Khin Mai Aung

Aung Highlighted Impact of California's Proposition 209 on Asian Americans
Khin Mai Aung, attorney for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, drew upon the experiences of Asian Americans in California, post-proposition 209, the proposition ending affirmative action in higher education. For the incoming class in the fall of 1998, the first class without affirmative action, there was a significant decrease in the number of African Americans and Latinos. Aung noted that reports show an increase in the percentage of Asian Americans that year, but the disaggregated data shows a decrease in the Filipinos admissions rate, while the number of applications increased.

Real (11:11)Video
Barmak Nassirian
 
Barmak Nassirian

College Admissions in the United States Seems Scientific, but Has No Objectively Verifiable End, Explained Nassirian
Barmak Nassirian, deputy director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, said college admissions in the United States appear to be scientific, but often are not objectively verifiable. Relying solely on traditional assessment methods -- GPA, SATs -- generally will yield vastly more qualified applicants than slots, he explained.

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Shot: May 1, 2003
Published: Jun 19, 2003
Last modified:Jun 18, 2003