UC Santa Cruz Review Summer/Fall 1995
Campus Update: Regents vote to modify admissions, hiring, and business practices
The UC Board of Regents voted in July to end the use of ethnicity and gender in student admissions and to use criteria related to economic and social need.
At a meeting held at UC San Francisco, the board voted 14-10, with one abstention, in favor of the new policy. During twelve hours of comment and debate, about 30 public officials and 30 members of the public--including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Assemblyman Willie Brown, Jr., and Governor Pete Wilson--spoke on affirmative action.
UC President Jack W. Peltason, who had urged support for affirmative action policies, said he had hoped for a different outcome. "I want to ask the members of the university community, whatever your views on the matter, to keep in mind that our goal has not changed," he said after the vote. "The only thing that has changed is the means we can take to achieve our goal. Obviously, our outreach programs now have more significance than ever, and I welcome the board's support for expanding and improving those efforts.
"I know how strongly many of you feel about this issue. But I remind us that we are an academic community and our way of dealing with differences is through reason, discussion, and respect for each others' views. I urge all of us to keep those values in mind as we work our way through the adjustments the university will need to make as a result of today's action."
In a separate 15-10 vote, the Regents also eliminated the use of ethnicity and gender in UC's hiring and business practices. The policy will take effect in January 1996.
The new policy regarding admissions is to take effect January 1997.
The two board resolutions were proposed by Regent Ward Connerly.
The resolution regarding admissions calls for:
-- The UC president to appoint a task force with representatives of the business community, the university, other segments of education, and outreach organizations. This task force will develop proposals for new directions and increased funding for UC to increase the eligibility rate of students who demonstrate economic or social need.
-- The president to confer with the Academic Senate to develop supplemental admissions criteria related to economic need or social environment including an "abusive or otherwise dysfunctional home or a neighborhood of unwholesome or antisocial influences."
-- By January 1, 1997, not less than 50 percent and not more than 75 percent of any entering class on any campus shall be admitted solely on the basis of academic achievement.
In a joint statement, Peltason and the nine UC chancellors said: "This will unfortunately make it more difficult for our campuses to achieve the diversity that is essential for the future excellence of the university and the stability and welfare of our society. However, we pledge to continue our efforts to serve all populations in California, working within the new guidelines of economic and social disadvantage, and in conformance with state and federal mandates."