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The United States Supreme Judicial Court is currently deliberating the University of Michigan Affirmative Action lawsuits involving three white students who claim they were discriminated against because of race-conscious admissions policies. Organizations, such as the Center for Individual Rights, which sponsored the Michigan plaintiffs, and the Center for Equal Opportunity, have spearheaded drives to evaluate affirmative action programs in light of equal protection under the law. Viewed in this light, these policies appear to be unfair to white candidates. Examined more closely, concerns about equitability are missing from arguments about fairness. NERCHE’s Multicultural Affairs Think Tank members discussed the changed environment brought about by these lawsuits and its implications for colleges and universities.


The following Brief from the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) is a distillation of the work by members of NERCHE's think tanks and projects from a wide range of institutions. NERCHE Briefs emphasize policy implications and action agendas from the point of view of the people who tackle the most compelling issues in higher education in their daily work lives. With support from the Ford Foundation, NERCHE disseminates these pieces to a targeted audience of higher education leaders and media contacts. The Briefs are designed to add critical information and essential voices to the development of higher education policies and the improvement of practice at colleges and universities.


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