Affirmative Action and Academic Diversity



Abigail Fisher’s affirmative action lawsuit against the University of Texas Law School has drawn attention to the question of on-campus diversity. The US Supreme Court determined Fisher’s case is best decided by a lower court, and this hour we’ll examine the Court’s (non-) decision. We’ll talk about how diversity is measured, and what its value is in an academic setting.


  • Ruth Colker, professor, Moritz College of Law
  • Estela Mara Bensimon, Professor of education, USC
  • Vern Granger, Director of Admissions OSU

Join The Conversation

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    Many affirmative action proponents argue that the only way to racial diversity on campus is through affirmative action and racial preferences for URM (underrepresented minority). Is it true?

    Although seen as a bastion of liberalism in the public mind, the state of California passed proposition 209, banning affirmative action, 17 years ago. So what happened? Are California university campuses today completely lily white? Or all Asian?

    Hardly. As explained in a study for the Cato Institute, with the exception of one or two “elite” institutions, California university campuses are more diverse today than before the ban, and the graduation rates of minority students are much higher. But how is this possible if the ban says affirmative action was neither achieving more diversity nor helping black and Hispanic students acquire a college diploma?

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