Monday, November 18, 2013

UT Discrimination Lawsuit Stirs Up Important Questions - Higher Education

UT Discrimination Lawsuit Stirs Up Important Questions - Higher Education: UT discrimination lawsuit asks important questions

AUSTIN Texas—Sixty-seven years after the first lawsuit over who gets to attend the University of Texas, a federal appeals court is again judging the school’s fairness and drafting a ruling that could change college affirmative action programs nationwide.

On one side, officials at the flagship campus in Austin insist they’ve developed a system that subtly includes race as one of seven factors for considering students who don’t earn automatic admission by graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class. UT President Bill Powers insists that factoring in race is necessary to create a diverse learning environment.

Opposing the policy is Abigail Fisher, a White woman denied admission to UT, who says race shouldn’t be considered at all. Her attorney, Bert Rein, told the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that the university could achieve sufficient diversity without considering race.