1. Admissions Policy Question Being Answered: <br />Assume you are a senior administrator employed by a public college or university. Please briefly describe your institution in the introduction to your answer. The state or community served by your institution is very diverse (40% white, 25% African American, 25% Latino, and 10% Asian American). African Americans and Latinos are underrepresented in the health professions in the tertiary care hospitals in your state or community. They are also underrepresented in the health professional positions in the very large, regionally based, pharmaceutical firm; SKG Clinical Trials, Inc. Both the hospitals and SKG have just been sued for racial discrimination in employment. The plaintiffs’ attorneys have indicated that they may sue your institution if the discovery process shows the institution has some liability. <br /> <br />After extensive debate by the Board of Trustees, the Faculty Council, the Dean’s Council, and the President’s Cabinet, you have been given the responsibility of completing the first draft of a new admissions policy (for two highly selective educational programs) that must pass constitutional scrutiny. The admissions policy must provide for race-based, preferential treatment in the admissions process for African Americans and Latinos. The admissions policy must do the following:<br /> <br />a. Identify and explain the educational justification for the admissions policy,<br />b. Identify and explain the legal justification for the admissions policy, <br />c. Describe, in detail, the preferential treatment to be provided in the admissions process and precisely where the preference will operate, and<br />d. Explain how the overall admissions process will work.<br /> <br />Identify the appropriate legal authority (U.S. Constitution, U.S. Code, U.S. Supreme Court decisions, and U.S. Federal Court decisions) for various provisions in your policy and insert these in the relevant sections of your answer. Note: for purposes of this essay, assume your state does not have any constitutional or statutory provisions prohibiting race-based preferential affirmative action in student admissions. <br />Admissions Policy As Seen in Handbook:<br />Hypothetical University’s Nursing and Pre-med programs are highly selective and competitive programs. Each class consists of only 10 percents of the number of applicants these programs typically receive each year. Because the student body in the Nursing and Pre-med programs is small, class sizes also reflect this. Students admitted into either of these programs should expect to be involved in class discussions and be well known by the professors who are teaching courses in these areas. This small student to professor ratio is something Hypothetical University prides ourselves on as student in these courses will be ensured the amount of attention needed by their professors so students are able to succeed to their full potentials. <br />While Hypothetical University serves a larger community that is very diverse, so are our campus and the Nursing and Pre-med programs. We pride ourselves on this diversity in the classroom. Admission to the Nursing and pre-med programs is competitive and highly selective. Our admissions community seeks students who have the ability to succeed academically and personally in our University’s setting. In coming to all admission decisions, Hypothetical University reviews and carefully assesses each applicant’s credentials fully. Included in these credentials are the applicant’s intellectual strengths and their academic promise and personal qualities. The admissions committee examines all applicants holistically, and while an applicant’s academic record is of great important, the committee will also consider an applicant’s race, geographical origin, and academic and co-curricular interests as well as other information provided in the student’s application. When making final admission decisions the committee will envision the future potential of applicants serving our community and others and will bring together a class of Nursing and Pre-med students who will offer a wide range of unique characteristics, experience, and knowledge.<br />Evaluation Procedure:<br />The process each application to the Nursing and Pre-med programs will go through at Hypothetical University will be as follows: <br />The committee will assign a specific rating for academic performance, recommendations, scoring on specific admission tests, and an overall rating to each file. When evaluating an applicant’s file and assigning a rating in each of these categories the committee will apply their professional experience and judgment. <br />These ratings will be used as guides to help the committee manage the large number of applications and select only the appropriate applications that should go on to further processes within this committee and be recommended for admission. <br />The evaluation ratings are as follows: <br /><ul><li>Outstanding
5. Below Average/Poor</li></ul>Depending on how many applications are in each category the committee will take all of the 1 applications, after that the committee will take applications in the lower rating categories. If the committee chooses to take an application from a certain rating level, they must take all applications that received this same rating on as well.<br />In the next phase of the evaluation process, the committee may assign a plus or minus to an evaluation rating. Where the applicant’s personal characteristics and attributes (personal background, geographic considerations, race, and academic and co-curricular interests as well as other information provided in the student’s application) are being evaluated. It is in this phase of the application process where reviewers will be able to draw attention to special circumstances or characteristics that stand out in an application and merit particular consideration. When evaluation race of an applicant the committee can, because Hypothetical University has a voluntary, race conscious admission policy; give a plus to a candidate who is a member of a race that is underrepresented at the University or within these programs. The committee will take into account Hypothetical University’s quest for diverse classroom experiences for all students in this phase of the process.<br />After the committee has exercised their professional judgment and experience in rating the applications they will then provide an overall rating for the application based on the following scale:<br />1-Outstanding + or -<br />All of the applicant’s materials exemplify superior and exceptional characteristics that contribute to the specific evaluation categories.<br />2- Excellent + or -<br />The applicant’s materials illustrate extremely strong, but not exceptional, characteristics. <br />3- Good + or -<br />The applicant’s materials demonstrate competitive, average characteristics in most of the criteria, but may be particularly strong in one or more areas. The committee may have reservations about the applicant’s academic competitiveness.<br />4- Average/Fair +<br />While the applicant’s materials are competitive in each of the evaluated areas, the committee has concerns about the overall strength of the application and may have concerns about the applicant’s academic competitiveness. <br />4- Average/Fair –<br /> The applicant does not stand out.<br />5-Below Average/Poor + or -<br />In the applicant’s materials, the committee sees serious deficiencies in most of the evaluation criteria in comparison to other applicants. In addition, evaluation criteria may not be met or may not have been addressed in the applicant’s materials, or may have been found to be misleading.<br />Recommendation Decisions<br />After conducting a comprehensive, holistic and individualized review of an each application, the committee will then make an admissions decision recommendation based on the evaluation rating and comments. <br />MA = Must Admit<br />Applications with a 1 = or -<br />A = Admit<br />Applications with a 2 + or –<br />AR = Admit with Reservation<br />Applications with a 3 + or –<br />DR = Deny with Reservation<br />Applications with a 4 +<br />D = Deny<br />Applications with a 4-<br />MD = Must Deny<br />Applications with a 5 + or –<br />Depending on the size of each recommendation decision category the committee will admit each category in order until the admitting class is within the range of students the committee sees fit to maintain a small, individualized experience for each students. If the committee admits one applicant from a certain recommendation group, they must admit all applicants from that same recommendation group.<br />Essay on the Educational and Legal Justification of the Admission Policy <br />When crafting the admission policy for a hypothetical institution ,which was to be a public institution I knew that I had to be careful not to violate applicants’ fourteenth amendments, “which generally prohibits discriminary treatment on the basis of race, ethnicity, or sex, including “reverse discrimination” but applies only to public institutions,” (Kaplin & Lee, 2006, p. 339). I also knew that I would have to make sure the policy did not violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “prohibiting race, color, and national origin discrimination and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting sex discrimination)” (Kaplin & Less, 2006, p. 339) all of which apply to public and private institutions that receive federal financial assistance.<br />In Grutter v. Bollinger, the court issued the opinion that a race conscious admission program was permissible when narrowly tailored, if the admission program did not use a quota. I was sure in the admission policy to not set any certain percentage of underrepresented racial groups to be admitted. I did use the “plus factor” used in the Grutter case, which was considered not a quota, but does give members of underrepresented racial groups a leg up in the admission process. In my proposed policy this only happens if they already were qualified to be admitted based on their academic and intellectual abilities. I also made my admission policy flexible enough to consider other factors under the “plus factor” system as well.<br />As seen in Bakke v. Regents of the University of California (553 P, 2d 1152 Cal 1976) “race or ethnic background may be deemed a “plus” in a particular applicant’s file, yet it may not insulate the individual from comparison with all other candidates for the available seats” (Kaplin & Lee, 2006, p. 343). Knowing that race had to be a factor to help the underrepresented minority groups gain admission into these programs, but also knowing it could not insulate them in the process, I chose to have the same committee review all applications in all phases of the process. I also have the first phase of the process based solely on academic and intellectual ability, insuring anyone’s application that made it on past this point was academically qualified. Then using the “plus” factor I gave the application evaluation process and the evaluation committee the leeway to use their own expertise and knowledge of the current student body in these programs to better sort out what applications would be submitted for admission.<br />In cases such as Bakke, Grutter, Gratz, and Defunis, courts have historically left the admission decisions to the expertise of the committee charged with the assignment of deciding who is qualified. In “Lesser v. Board of Education of NewYork, 239 N.Y.S.2d 776 (N.Y. app. Div. 1963), the court declined to overturn the judgment of the college, stating that discretionary decisions of education institutions, particulary those relating to determining the eligibility of applicants, should be left to the institution” (Kalplin & Lee, 2006, p.318). <br />With this stance of the court not being uncommon, I chose to point out in the introduction to the admission policy that this hypothetical university deemed diversity in the classroom as a major factor as to why the program was successful, along with the small class sizes. Diversity in the classroom was said to be a major factor in the Grutter case when the applications committee was reviewing applications for admissions. The courts in the Grutter case upheld this interest by stating the court, “"
does not prohibit the law school's narrowly tailored use of race in admissions decisions to further a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body."
Since, the court’s decision in this case was that a diverse classroom was a compelling state’s interest, I made a diverse classroom a compelling interest for the hypothetical institution as well which is stated in the introduction of the policy. <br />