ON-Lion Letter
In 1996, California voters passed an initiative banning the use of racial preferences by state government and state colleges and universities.  This year, University of California-Los Angeles political-science professor Tim Groseclose charged that the school is nonetheless deliberately taking race into account in its admissions process.  Groseclose resigned from the school's admissions oversight committee in protest.

"As a regent of the University of California," according to Bradley Prize recipient Ward Connerly in a September article on the "Minding the Campus" website, "I supported the use of what we called 'comprehensive review' as an alternative to over-reliance on standardized test scores.  Yet, at the time of approval, I and others expressed concern that allowing UC campuses the discretion to view applicants for admission 'comprehensively' opened the door to the use of subjective factors that could not be detected or proven; however, it was my belief then that UC administrators would resist the temptation to cheat and violate the California Constitution and that they would administer this new process with integrity.

"In the case of UCLA," Connerly concludes in the wake of its treatment of Groseclose, "I am now strongly convinced that my faith in the institution's honor has been misplaced."

Connerly is co-founder and chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) in Sacramento, Calif.  ACRI conducts research into and public education about the effects of governments' racial and other preferences.  California-like initiatives to ban such preferences will appear on ballots in Colorado and Nebraska on November 4, dubbed "Super Tuesday for Equal Rights."  His most-recent book, from Encounter Books, is Lessons from My Uncle James:  Beyond Skin Color to the Content of Our Character.

"Minding the Campus" is run by the Center for the American University (CAU) at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research in New York City.

The "comprehensive," or "holistic," UCLA admissions process relies in part on a written essay that Groseclose and others suspect it uses to allow for race to be taken into account.  "What UCLA has done is indefensible, it seems to me," Connerly writes in his "Minding the Campus" article, "and I believe the campus knows it.  That is precisely why the request of Groseclose for admissions data was denied, why the campus has been so jittery about its use of holistic review, and why an 'independent evaluation' has been commissioned by the parties who conspired to prevent the requested information from being given to Groseclose.

"Public universities across the nation need to start getting comfortable with the high probability that the era of race preferences is coming to an end, either due to a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, elections at the ballot box, or popular sentiment of the American people."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports ACRI, Encounter, and the Manhattan Institute's CAU.
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