Back to race
University of Texas President Larry Faulkner wants to return to using racial preferences in admissions, now that the U.S. Supreme Court says it’s sort of OK for another generation.
After dropping racial criteria, UT had maintained black and Hispanic enrollment by admitting students in the top 10 percent of their high school class. With so many segregated schools, that produced the desired numbers. However, some of the 10 percenters — the best students from bad schools — are marginally qualified, while well-qualified students from high-performing schools are shut out. Faulkner wants to limit the number of 10 percenters to half the freshmen class; it’s estimated they’ll take up 90 percent of the class by 2005 if there’s no cap.
With better recruiting, but without using racial or ethnic preferences, UT’s law school managed nearly as much racial/ethnic diversity as under its old plan, the Houston Chronicle reports. Yet UT’s professional schools will return to using race as a “factor,” thereby putting an affirmative action asterisk on the records of minority students.