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On the national front: Diversity issues prompt legal action

December 2, 2003


According to a column written by Linda Chavez and published in the Nov. 20, 2003 edition of The Leaf-Chronicle, a number of universities have abandoned some race-based programs.

Why? She says, Because many of these programs are blatantly illegalpermitting students from only certain racial groups to participate, while keeping out everyone else. These schools have been getting away with these practices for years, but thats about to change.
December 2, 2003


According to a column written by Linda Chavez and published in the Nov. 20, 2003 edition of The Leaf-Chronicle, a number of universities have abandoned some race-based programs.

Why? She says, “Because many of these programs are blatantly illegalpermitting students from only certain racial groups to participate, while keeping out everyone else. These schools have been getting away with these practices for years, but that's about to change.”

As the head of The Center for Equal Opportunity, Chavez says the center has begun challenging racially exclusive programs at many colleges and universities. In some instances, the center filed formal complaints with the U. S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

“By the end of this year, we will have notified 100 collegessome of the most prestigious in the nation, including Princeton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Virginiathat they may be operating programs that run afoul of the Supreme Court's ruling,” she says.

More specifically, according to Chavez, the center is challenging universities and colleges with racially exclusive scholarship programs and outreach programs or special summer sessions open to members of specified racial or ethnic groups.

Despite this challenge, President Sherry Hoppe said it's unlikely to affect similar programs at Austin Peay. “The special programs for African Americans at APSU and other public higher education institutions in Tennessee are explicitly required as a result of a court-ordered desegregation settlement.”

Chavez says in her column: “It is too bad it has taken threats of legal action to get colleges and universities to stop segregating students by race under the guise of promoting diversity.”
—Dennie Burke