The first major book to argue in favor of affirmative action in higher education since Bowen and Bok's The Shape of the River
Even as lawsuits challenging its admissions policies made their way through the courts, the University of Michigan carried the torch for affirmative action in higher education.
In June 2003, the Supreme Court vindicated UM's position on affirmative action when it ruled that race may be used as a factor for universities in their admissions programs, thus confirming what the UM had argued all along: diversity in the classroom translates to a beneficial and wide-ranging social value. With the green light given to the law school's admissions policies, Defending Diversity validates the positive benefits gained by students in a diverse educational setting.
Written by prominent University of Michigan faculty, Defending Diversity is a timely response to the court's ruling. Providing factual background, historical setting, and the psychosocial implications of affirmative action, the book illuminates the many benefits of a diverse higher educational setting -- including preparing students to be full participants in a pluralistic democracy -- and demonstrates why affirmative action is necessary to achieve that diversity.
Defending Diversity is a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion on affirmative action in higher education. Perhaps more important, it is a valuable record of the history, events, arguments, and issues surrounding the original lawsuits and the Supreme Court's subsequent ruling, and helps reclaim the debate from those forces opposed to affirmative action.
Patricia Gurin is Professor Emerita, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan. Jeffrey S. Lehman, former Dean of the University of Michigan Law School, is President of Cornell University. Earl Lewis is Dean of Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan.
Patricia Gurin is Professor Emerita, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.
Jeffrey S. Lehman , former Dean of the University of Michigan Law School, is President of Cornell University.
Earl Lewis is Dean of Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan.
". . . documents the extraordinary effort made by the University of Michigan to defend its race-sensitive admissions policies against a determined legal assault."
"This impressive book . . . reminds us of the extraordinary leadership role
played by the University of Michigan in defending affirmative action."
---William G. Bowen, President, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
"Readers interested in broad historical and social analysis of affirmative action will appreciate this book."- Vernon Ford
"Defending Diversity documents the extraordinary effort made by the University of Michigan to defend its race-sensitive admissions policies against a determined legal assault. Drawing liberally from supportive testimony from business, the professions, and the military and from extensive empirical research, the University makes a powerful case to demonstrate how much racial diversity matters to the quality of education and to the future of America. At a time when university leaders are often criticized for failing to speak out on important public issues, the successful campaign mounted by these Michigan officials seems al the more remarkable."- Derek Bok
". . . provides a framework and model to moderate dialogues across America about diversifying the states' public flagship universities. . . . Data and conclusions presented in Defending Diversity support the notion that wide-ranging and positive benefits exist where students interact and learn from each other when lines of race and ethnicity intersect. Defending Diversity tells the encouraging story of the University of Michigan's role in constructing a diverse democracy and its place in the nation's history in mounting a successful defense of affirmative action before the Supreme Court."- Anthony Edwards, Univ of South Carolina