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Race and University Admissions23:54

This article is more than 18 years old.

This week's show featured a debate organized by Boston University's College of Communication on "Should Race be a Plus Factor in University Admissions?" The debate was held as part of Boston University's biannual Great Debate Series, and was moderated by Journalism Professor Robert Zelnick.

The affirmative side arguing in favor of using race as a plus factor included Nathan Glazer, professor emeritus of sociology at Harvard University; Neal Katyal, Georgetown University Law School associate professor and student debater Heather Williams, a University Professors Program sophomore. Professor Glazer, the leader of the affirmative side, mentioned the gap in achievement between blacks and other groups in the United States, colleges' desires to represent the true U.S. population on campus, and the role of tests in university admissions as major reasons for allowing race to be a plus factor. Heather Williams focused on the value and benefits of diversity on college campuses as reasons for upholding the affirmative side's resolution.

The negative side arguing against race being a plus factor in university admissions consisted of Roger Clegg, vice president and general counsel for the Center for Equal Opportunity; Abigail Thernstrom, author and scholar for the Manhattan Institute, and School of Management freshman Matt Brown. Mr. Clegg, the leader of the negative side, argued that the costs of affirmative action outweigh the benefits. Abigail Thernstrom argued that affirmative action is not a real solution for bringing racial equality in the society. Matt Brown focused his argument on the financial politics within universities and the misconceptions of diversity.

This program aired on April 8, 2001.

Robin Lubbock Twitter Visual/Social Media
Robin Lubbock produces visual and social media for WBUR.


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