Baylor > Lariat Archives > News

Universities defend affirmative action

April 25, 1997

Schools use race, gender to achieve diversity

By Michelle Van Rysselberge

Lariat Staff Writer

Some of the nation's top universities are defending their rights to use race, ethnicity and gender as factors in selecting students, according to an Associated Press story

The Association of American Universities, which is comprised of 62 prestigious institutions, said it does not support admissions quotas. At their annual meeting on April 14 in Washington, D.C., the group said bans on affirmative action in California and Texas 'create substantial uncertainty about the future representation of minority students within our student bodies.'

'If our institutional capacity to bring together a genuinely diverse group of students is removed, or severely reduced, then the quality and texture of education we provide will be significantly diminished,' the association's advertisement said.

The Association of American Universities' diverse membership ranges from private Ivy League schools such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Vanderbilt University to top public schools such as University of Texas at Austin and the University of California at Berkeley.

The University's application for admission states its affirmative action policy as: 'Baylor University complies with all applicable federal and state non-discrimination laws and does not engage in prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, nationality or ethnic origin, sex, age or disability in employment or the provision of services.'

'Baylor University is going to do the right thing for the right reasons,' said Jaffus Hardwick, assistant director of personnel services and affirmative action/equal employment officer. '[We are] still proactive in terms of recruiting minorities.'

According to Institutional Research and Testing, the fall 1996 University student body comprised of 5633 males and 6758 females. The race and ethnicity breakdown of students is as follows: 9739 whites, 623 blacks, 931 Hispanics, 796 Asians, 60 Native Americans, 93 not specified and 149 other.

Copyright © 1997 The Lariat

Comments or Questions can be sent to The Lariat