New York to resist Trump rollback of affirmative action in college admissions process
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed that state's universities to continue policies that promote diversity despite the Trump administration ruling that institutions don’t have to consider race in admissions decisions, according to the Northeast Public Radio.
- Cuomo asked the chairmen of the boards of trustees for City University of New York and the State University of New York by mid-August to report on how they will further increase diversity on their campuses.
- State higher education officials have been concerned about the Trump administration’s position on affirmative action, but officials also said they believed the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing vote on the high court who supported a key decision on affirmative action, might lead it to take action to limit those initiatives if Kennedy is replaced by a more conservative justice. The president this week nominated U.S. Appeals Court judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is a conservative.
The Trump administration announced earlier this month that it plans to rescind guidance documents from the Obama era encouraging college admissions offices to promote diversity, claiming that the guidelines were beyond what the Supreme Court had found and were “unnecessary, outdated, inconsistent with existing law, or otherwise improper”.
The U.S. Department of Justice also is reviewing claims from Asian-American students who say they were unfairly discriminated against in Harvard University's admissions practices, and seems to be supportive of the suit.
About a dozen universities apparently have resisted the administration’s efforts to roll back the guidelines, according to the Huffington Post, including five ivy league universities. It also reported that colleges that defy them could be subject to a federal investigation or lawsuit or lose funding. Dartmouth College announced it “remains firmly committed to exercising the right to affirmative action in hiring and admissions” noting that the Supreme Court in the past has upheld the practice.
Ted Mitchell, the president of the American Council on Education, responded to the administration’s announcement. “Colleges and universities that consider race and ethnicity as one factor in a holistic admissions review are committed to following the law of the land. And make no mistake; this is the law of the land. Today’s announcement does not change that,” he told Poltico.
The Huffington Post also noted that California has barred its colleges from considering race in admissions, and seven other states also ban affirmative action at public universities: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington.
- Northeast Public Radio Cuomo: NY City And State Colleges Will Keep Diversity Policies