The following letter was sent on December 26, 1996 by President Atkinson to UC chancellors concerning a decision by U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson to issue a preliminary injunction against enforcement of Proposition 209.
December 26, 1996
On December 23 Judge Henderson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction against Proposition 209. This order means that the University is required to stop implementation or enforcement of Proposition 209 until after the trial of the action, unless reversed on appeal. As noted before, this injunction does not affect the University's obligation to continue to apply and enforce the Regents' resolutions SP-1 and SP-2 adopted in July 1995. Therefore, the injunction has no impact on employment, contracting, and graduate and professional admissions programs, which already have been changed as a result of the Regents' resolutions.
The injunction impacts undergraduate admissions, financial aid, and other campus-based programs that use race, ethnicity or gender as factors to determine eligibility. These are the items that were covered in Provost King's letter of November 6 and my letter of December 18. For these programs, decisions now are to be made reverting to the policies and implementing plans and procedures in place before Proposition 209 was passed.
General Counsel advises that the trial or appeal of the preliminary injunction is likely to be concluded at a time well beyond the completion this March of the admissions cycle for Fall 1997. It is possible, however, that the appeals court could issue an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction; if this occurs, it will likely be within the next few weeks. We are aware of the need to ensure that students and their families understand the admissions criteria and to have applications processed in a timely and deliberate manner. We will endeavor to do everything possible to avoid further changes during the admissions cycle.
If you encounter any difficulties reverting to pre-Proposition 209 practices, or have any other questions, please get in touch with Deputy General Counsel Morrison or Assistant Vice President Galligani.
Richard C. Atkinson
cc: Provost King, General Counsel Holst, Deputy General Counsel Morrison, Assistant Vice President Galligani