4 October press briefing to focus on minority recruitment to science and engineering programs

09/28/04

More than one year after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the value of diverse learning environments but struck down formulaic or points-based approaches to undergraduate admissions, a new report--scheduled for release 4 October--will clarify legally defensible options for protecting diversity in science and engineering programs.

The report, Standing Our Ground: A Guidebook for STEM Educators in the Post-Michigan Era, will be released at 1:00 p.m. U.S. ET Monday, 4 October, 2004, at the National Press Club, Lisagor Room, by AAAS, the world's largest general science society, and NACME, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. Details will remain under embargo until the time of the event.

The report is being released as "U.S. universities are being subjected to a campaign of intimidation so that a bunker mentality now prevails, despite the fact that targeted recruitment is still perfectly legal," said report co-author Shirley M. Malcom, director of Education & Human Resources at AAAS.

Emerging from a recent invitation-only think-tank sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Standing Our Ground provides legal guidance on two Michigan rulings that affirmed the importance of a diverse learning environment, but struck down the use of race as a quantitative "plus factor" in undergraduate admissions decisions. The mixed Grutter and Gratz messages, issued in June 2003, triggered confusion among academic, non-profit, and federal institutions seeking to extend the benefits of education to all.

Standing Our Ground features a "legal primer" to help guide university counsels in interpreting the Grutter and Gratz rulings. It also describes eight "design principles" that may serve as a checklist.

    WHAT: Press briefing and Standing Our Ground report release

    WHERE: National Press Club, Washington, DC, Lisagor Room

    WHEN: 1:00 p.m. US ET, Monday, 4 October, 2004

    WHO: Moderator--AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner, executive publisher of Science;
    AAAS President Shirley Ann Jackson, president, Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute
    NACME CEO John Brooks Slaughter;
    Intel Corporation U.S. Education Manager Cathleen Barton.

    RSVP: Reporters, to RSVP, or for more information on this embargoed report, please contact Ginger Pinholster, 202-326-6421, gpinhols@aaas.org.

The report will be freely available after 1 p.m. US ET Monday, 4 October, 2004, at http://www.aaas.org/standingourground.

Since 1974, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME) has provided leadership and support for the national effort to increase the representation of successful African American, American Indian and Latino men and women in engineering and technology, math- and science-based careers. For more information about NACME, log onto www.nacme.org.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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