After a lengthy investigation of the freshman admissions process at Berkeley, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has found the process to be in full compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin by educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance. The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights oversees compliance with this regulation.
In a March 1 letter to Chancellor Tien, the regional office summarized its findings, concluding that "The affirmative action aspect of the admissions system was designed to achieve a range of types of diversity in the student body; race was but one factor in the process. All students admitted, including those given affirmative action consideration, were highly qualified for admission, meeting rigorous UC standards. The program employed no quotas or set-asides, and all students, regardless of race or national origin, competed with all other students."
"We are happy with the conclusions reached by the Office for Civil Rights," said Chancellor Tien. "This report reaffirms what campus leaders have said for some time. Our admissions policies not only further integration, they result in the academic strengthening of the student body. Some people think that those two things cannot happen simultaneously. Berkeley has shown that they can."
In summary, the Office for Civil Rights "found that UCB is in compliance with Title VI with regard to the undergraduate admission policies and procedures for the College of L&S."
The investigation was initiated in 1989 after a complaint was filed with OCR claiming not only that Berkeley maintained illegal quotas for minority students, but that the entire UC system segregated minority students away from other campuses to Berkeley. The Office for Civil Rights found the latter charge also groundless.
The OCR looked at L&S's admissions process 1989-93, and how it had evolved since the early 1980s.
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