The UC Board of Regents will consider a proposal to eliminate race, ethnicity and gender from consideration in admissions, hiring and contracting at a meeting July 20 that has sparked national interest.
The proposal by Regent Ward Connerly has prompted the Rev. Jesse Jackson to call for a mass show of civil disobedience at the meeting to be held at UCSF's Laurel Heights campus. Gov. Wilson, who supports the proposal, has announced that he will attend as well.
In a July 10 letter to the regents, UC President Jack Peltason said that "any action now to dismantle our diversity program would be premature and against the best interests of the University and California."
A unified position strongly endorsing continuing existing admissions policies was released by the president, chancellors and vice presidents on July 10.
Connerly says his proposals will "end preferential treatment and promote individual opportunity based on merit."
Regent Ralph Carmona said he will move to table Connerly's proposal indefinitely. Carmona has issued a statement saying "it would be a mistake for the university to go on record as the first state constitutional governing board in the United States to take a policy position that eliminates consideration of racial, ethnic and gender factors involving affirmative action."
Connerly's proposed policy calls for the university to eliminate consideration of race, religion, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin as a criterion for admission to UC or any program of study by Jan. 1, 1997, and for employment and contracting as of Jan. 1, 1996.
The proposal also calls for the UC president and regents to appoint a task force to develop proposals for "new directions and increased funding" to increase the eligibility rate of high school applicants underrepre-sented at UC compared with their populations in high schools.
In addition, the proposal calls for UC to identify, by Dec. 31, 1996, what actions need to be taken to "ensure that all persons have equal access to job competitions, contracts," and other employment.