Faculty Group Supports Initiative to Return to Affirmative Action
by Jacqueline Frost, Public Affairs
Calling the steep drop in the number of underrepresented minorities admitted for the 1998-99 freshman class the most serious setback in the last 30 years of this institution, a faculty group Thursday, April 23, lent its support to a new statewide initiative that would allow public colleges and universities to again use race as a factor in admissions.
Supporters of the Equal Educational Opportunity Initiative, a student-driven measure that advocates the use of affirmative action in education, need to collect 900,000 signatures by June to qualify for the year 2000 ballot.
The early admission figures demonstrate beyond any doubt that Berkeley is rapidly being re-segregated along racial lines, said Ling-chi Wang, chair of the ethnic studies department, at a morning press conference at the Faculty Club.
Flanked by other members of the newly formed Berkeley Faculty for Educational Opportunity and Diversity, Wang also called upon the administration and the Academic Senate to review the new admission procedures that have given us the disastrous outcome to date and commit resources and expertise to help.
This is more than a short-term numbers game, said sociology professor Arlie Hochschild, referring to the states reversal of affirmative action. This is a long term societal problem.
Patrick Hayashi, associate vice chancellor of admissions and enrollment, said the admissions committee has already launched an analysis of the new procedures, and the administration is also committed to a complete review of the process.
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