The UC Regents' new affirmative action policy will affect admissions at Berkeley's School of Law. Dean Herma Hill Kay responded to basic questions regarding the future of admissions at the law school.
Berkeleyan: How does the new policy affect Boalt Hall?
Herma Hill Kay: Because the regents' resolution concerning admissions does not take effect until January 1997, our current admissions policy--which does take race and ethnicity into account--will remain in effect and will govern the admission of next year's entering class. The class that enters in August 1997 will be the first affected by the regents' resolution.
I am in the process of appointing an Admissions Policy Committee consisting of students, faculty and administrators to recommend available options to the faculty for its consideration this spring.
I plan to ask the Faculty Appointments Committee and its Student Liaison Committee to examine the impact of the regents' resolution on our faculty appointments practices and report to the faculty this fall. An Alumni Liaison Committee will be appointed by the Boalt Hall Alumni Association president, Mary Jo Shartsis, to consult with these two Boalt Hall committees.
Berkeleyan: How do current admissions policies work at the law school?
Kay: The process for choosing the entering class at Boalt was restructured in 1994 to implement the Faculty Admissions policy adopted in 1993.
Briefly, a number of criteria are considered in the law school admissions process, including undergraduate grade point average, Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores, recommendations, graduate training, marked success in non-academic endeavors and work experience.
Although greatest importance is given to the undergraduate grade point average and LSAT scores (which are weighted roughly equally and combined to produce an Index Number), non-quantitative factors are applied in the consideration of all applicants.
Where necessary to achieve the pedagogical objectives of educational diversity, the school takes into account race and ethnicity, along with other factors that produce a highly diverse student body reflecting widely varying interests, perspectives, backgrounds and experiences.
The Regents Policy
And Grad Admissions
The new UC Regents' policy will have a minor impact on graduate admissions as Joseph Duggan, graduate division associate dean--admissions and degrees, explains in the following interview.
Berkeleyan: What are the consequences of the regents' resolutions for graduate admissions?
Joseph Duggan: The consequences will be minimal. The Graduate Division will still encourage applications from those belonging to groups that have traditionally been underrepre-sented in higher education or that are underrepresented in particular fields.
The vast majority of graduate students from underrepresented groups have been admitted through the regular admissions process without consideration of gender or ethnicity.
Diversity has been a factor in graduate admissions in the following way. Departments, graduate groups, and schools are assigned a certain number of admission places each year.
Additional places may be requested for a variety of purposes, one of which is to enhance educational diversity. The numbers of students from underrepresented groups admitted under the over-allotment program have not been large.
Berkeleyan: What effect will the regents' resolutions have on graduate support?
Duggan: Affirmative action efforts in the area of employment are undertaken pursuant to federal rules and regulations, which are not affected by the regents' resolutions. There is no language in either resolution that refers to graduate fellowships.