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

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: Moder

Contact: Ginger Pinholster
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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