Law & Politics of Affirmative Action, Uppsala, Sweden, August 28, 2006

The Law and Politics of Affirmative Action
in American Higher Education:

A Twenty-First Century American Dilemma


Jeffrey S. Lehman

Uppsala University

Uppsala, Sweden

August 28, 2006

I want to begin by sharing with all of you two personal reasons why I am especially delighted to be participating in this seminar today.

One reason has to do with Uppsala University.  During the summer of 1977, after my senior year of college, I worked at the National Institutes of Health as a research assistant to a mathematician named Judith Prewitt.  Dr. Prewitt is one of the most brilliant individuals I have ever known, and she earned her Ph.D. in math and science here at Uppsala.  Because of Dr. Prewitt, this university has always symbolized to me the very highest standards of intellectual endeavor, and I could receive no higher honor than an invitation to speak here.

A second reason is that for several decades I have felt indebted to Sweden for insight into the subject of race in the United States.  I began my academic career teaching about race, poverty, and the American welfare state.  And in my courses on those subjects, I would often have my students read excerpts from the most influential book ever written about race in America – An American Dilemma, by Gunnar Myrdal.  


It is difficult for any country to understand how its own fundamental ideals are in tension with one another, and to adjust its public policies so as to minimize the consequences of that tension.  Myrdal showed America how an ideal of equal opportunity is central to the American creed, and how deep the tension was between that ideal and the experience of blacks in America during the 70 years after slavery’s end.

[BLANK SLIDE] My own work on affirmative action has been, in part, an effort, 50 years after Myrdal, to illuminate the tension between ideals of colorblindness and integration in twenty-first century America.  But I regret that I cannot repay our debt to Sweden through my work.  Myrdal’s gift to America came because he became a true expert on America.  I am very far from an expert on Sweden.

So it will be up to you to determine what relevance, if any, the American experience with affirmative action might have to current discussions of social policy in Sweden.  The American experience is grounded in commitments to both colorblindness and integration.  You must decide how significant those values are in contemporary Sweden.  What other values might be even more significant here, and to what extent might those values inform the development of an effective and authentically Swedish approach to diversity and social inclusion?

What I will try do this morning is describe, as best I can, America’s struggle.  I will devote the first portion of my talk to law, to the question whether, and under what circumstances, the practice of affirmative action in university admissions is permitted by American law.  I will devote the second portion of my talk to effectiveness, to the question of what universities must do in order to have the benefits of an affirmative action program outweigh the associated costs.

So let me begin by taking you back 29 years, to October 12, 1977.  My career had just shifted from medicine to law, as I had wrapped up my work with Dr. Prewitt at the National Institutes of Health and had enrolled as a student at the University of Michigan Law School.  [SLIDE].  On that day, a 37-year-old white man named Allan Bakke was sitting in the courtroom of the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping that law might enable him to shift his career to medicine.  [SLIDE].

Bakke had applied to the medical school of the University of California at Davis.  At that time, Davis was composing its entering class of 100 students in two parts.  84 of the 100 seats were filled under the so-called “regular admissions program.”  And 16 of the 100 seats were filled under the so-called “special admissions program.”  Anyone could be considered under the regular admissions program.  But to be considered under the special admissions program, one had to be "economically and/or educationally disadvantaged" and also a member of one of four specified "minority groups" (African Americans, Chicanos, Asians, and American Indians).

Bakke had been rejected, twice.  He was not competitive enough to claim one of the 84 seats in the regular admissions program. And he was ineligible to be admitted under the special admissions program because he was white.

[SLIDE].  Bakke filed a lawsuit claiming that the special admissions program violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  That provision states, simply, that no state shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  Bakke argued that his inability to compete for the sixteen seats set aside under the special admissions program meant that he was not being given the equal protection of the laws.

Bakke’s lawsuit proceeded through the courts of the state of California, and in the California Supreme Court, he won a complete victory.  [SLIDE].  That Court said that the Constitution requires universities to be colorblind, to pay absolutely no attention to race.  [SLIDE] It ordered the medical school to admit Bakke.  [SLIDE]  And it issued an injunction prohibiting the university from ever again taking race into account as a factor in admissions.

The University appealed from the State Supreme Court to the National Supreme Court, and on June 28, 1978, eight and one half months after it heard argument, that Court announced its decision.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court has nine Justices, so in any case it takes five Justices to establish a majority position.  In most cases it is not difficult to identify the points where at least five Justices agree.  But Bakke was unusual.  Six of the nine Justices wrote their own opinions, and different justices joined different parts of each other’s opinions.

And if you try to diagram them all, it looks something like this.  [SLIDE]

For all intents and purposes, there were three groups.

Four Justices, led by Justice Stevens, took one position.  Another four Justices, led by Justice Brennan, took a different position.  And the ninth Justice, Justice Powell, followed what we might like to call, “The Third Way.”

The Stevens Four would have agreed with the California Supreme Court in result.  Relying on a federal statute, they would have struck down the policy, let Bakke in, and endorsed the principle of colorblindness.

The Brennan Four would have upheld the University of California at Davis program completely.  In their view, whenever it appeared that an otherwise neutral system would have a disparate impact on racial minorities because of the legacy of past discrimination, it would be OK to use a race-conscious program to try to cancel out that disparate impact.

And then there was Justice Powell.  [SLIDE].  What was the content of his third way?

Justice Powell didn’t like quotas.  [SLIDE].  The Davis system was a quota system.  So Justice Powell joined with the Stevens Four to say that it was illegal and that Bakke should be admitted.

On the other hand, unlike the Stevens four, Justice Powell did not believe that the law required universities to be rigidly colorblind.  He believed that some consideration of race in admissions is permissible.  And so he joined with the Brennan Four to overturn the injunction that had been issued by the California Supreme Court.  [SLIDE]. 

The analysis that Justice Powell used to reach these conclusions is instructive, because it is closely tied to American history, and American ideals. [SLIDE]

1.                           First, because of America’s shameful experience with slavery and then with the legalized oppression that Myrdal documented, race is an especially dangerous tool for governments and large institutions to use.  It is a “suspect classification.”  [SLIDE]

2.                           As a suspect classification, it may not always be unconstitutional, but we must always subject it to strict scrutiny. [SLIDE]

3.                           If an organization is going to depart from rigid colorblindness, it must do so in pursuit of a compelling interest. [SLIDE]

4.                           And the departure from rigid colorblindness must be narrowly tailored to the promotion of that interest. [SLIDE]

So why did Justice Powell conclude that some consideration of race can be justified as promoting a compelling interest?  Because he was persuaded that a university’s interest in being an effective teaching community is a compelling interest, one that is linked to the First Amendment and to fundamental principles of academic freedom.  He concluded that a university might appropriately decide that having a racially diverse student body is important to being an effective teaching community.

What does racial diversity have to do with effective teaching?  America has long understood itself to be a heterogeneous nation of immigrants.  In Myrdal’s time, the accepted metaphor for America was the so-called “melting pot,” which suggests a somewhat uniform blend of ingredients.  Today, that metaphor stands alongside competing metaphors for multiculturalism, such as the tapestry woven of many threads, or the rainbow of many colors.  A diverse student body helps provide students a better preparation for life in that kind of a society.

Americans remain proud of their nation’s diversity.  They see it as a source of strength and adaptability.  But they also recognize the challenge in the national motto, e pluribus unum, one made out of many.  

Preparation for adult life in America entails preparation for all of the messiness, complexity, stimulation, and excitement that are associated with life in a racially diverse society.

Justice Powell’s opinion concluded that this compelling interest in having a racially diverse student body could be promoted in a narrowly tailored way, without the use of the rigid quotas that Davis had employed.  Here he cited the undergraduate admissions policy used at Harvard.  The Harvard policy treated race as a kind of nonquantifiable “plus factor” that would make a positive difference in an individual applicant’s file.

After the Bakke decision at the end of the 1970’s, the 1980’s were a calm decade for affirmative action issues at American universities.  Universities accommodated themselves to the Powell approach.  Everyone assumed that his Third Way was the law of the land.  “Quotas are bad, but plus factors and individualized consideration are OK.”

As for me, I spent the 1980’s finishing law school, serving as a law clerk to Justice Stevens, practicing law, and then returning to the University of Michigan to join the faculty as a law professor.

[SLIDE]  The 1990’s, however, were not so calm.  At the start of the decade I served on a five-member committee of Michigan faculty, charged with writing a new admissions policy for the law school.  [SLIDE].  We drafted a policy similar to the Harvard undergraduate policy that had been described in Bakke.  [SLIDE]  No quotas.  No set-asides.  [SLIDE].  Diversity was understood comprehensively.  [SLIDE].  Nobody was to be admitted who wasn’t fully qualified and prepared to do the work at Michigan.  [SLIDE].  At the same time, we made it clear that we would consider our interest in having an integrated student body as a plus factor in the evaluation of individual candidates.

We added one idea to the Harvard plan.  We wanted to explain a little bit more than Justice Powell had explained, or than the Harvard policy explained, about a question that troubles anyone who actually administers an admissions program.  And that question is, “How many minority students makes a class diverse?”  Is it one per class?  Two per class?  Ten percent of a class?  Fifty percent a class?  How do you know when you’re diverse?”

The answer we provided was to refer to the concept of a “critical mass.”  The notion was that when you get beyond mere “token” representation, to something that we would describe as “meaningful” representation, you see a change in the social dynamic of the classroom.  The minority students relax and feel more at ease.  They no longer feel as though every time they speak they are perceived as the spokesperson for their race.  Other students see the minority students disagreeing amongst themselves.  The entire question of race becomes more complicated, more challenging in some ways, but also more educationally accurate and valuable.

That was the concept of “critical mass.”  It was central to how we thought.  But by putting it into our policy, we brought upon ourselves the burden of having to explain what the difference is between a “critical mass” and a quota.

[SLIDE].  We adopted the policy in 1992, and in 1994, I became the dean of the Law School.  But out in the larger world affirmative action at universities was coming under new kinds of attack.  An organization calling itself the Center for Individual Rights, or CIR, set about challenging such programs around the country in a variety of different ways.  In 1995, CIR persuaded the University of California’s Board of Regents to apply a principle of unwavering colorblindness to university admissions in California, and the following year they persuaded the voters of California to pass a referendum known as Proposition 209 that made that principle permanent.

Also in 1996, CIR successfully sued the University of Texas Law School on behalf of a rejected applicant named Cheryl Hopwood.  In that case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit effectively revived the old California Supreme Court rule of rigid colorblindness.  It issued an injunction saying race could simply never be considered, in any way.  And when the Supreme Court declined to review the Fifth Circuit decision, many people were starting to wonder if Justice Powell’s opinion in Bakke was still the law of the land.

Late in 1997, CIR filed two lawsuits against the University of Michigan.  One, known as Gratz, was against the University of Michigan for its undergraduate admissions program, the second, known as Grutter, was over the law school admissions program.

The Michigan undergraduate admissions policy at issue in the Gratz case was different from the Law School policy at issue in Grutter.  About 14,000 undergraduate applications were received each year, and the University had adopted a fairly mechanical approach to handling them.  It used a formula that gave points to a limited set of quantitative factors, including 20 points to applicants who either came from economically disadvantaged backgrounds or were members of racial minority groups.

When the lawsuits were filed, the press coverage was very critical of the university.  It suggested that Hopwood in Texas and Proposition 209 in California had signaled the end of affirmative action.  And it reflected a broad populist sentiment that such programs had outlived their usefulness.

But there were encouraging signs as well.  Most importantly, the business community stepped forward to say, very strongly, that it was important to them that they be able to hire from integrated campuses.  They wanted well-trained minority graduates.  And they wanted white graduates who were comfortable living and working in an integrated environment.

We decided that we needed to fight on two fronts.  We needed to defend ourselves in court.  And we also needed to engage a broader mission of public education about what we were doing.

Our message, carried forward by university leaders and by public figures like Gerald Ford and Colin Powell, was as follows:  Moderate, carefully calibrated affirmative action, was good for society. It wasn’t free; any time you depart from colorblind approaches, you incur a price – you are reinforcing the notion that racial categories are appropriate and useful tools.   But it carried important benefits – better preparation for life in an integrated world, and a visible pathway to social inclusion and upward mobility for underprivileged minority students.

After five years of litigation in the lower courts, our cases were argued in the Supreme Court in April 2003 and decided less than three months later, on June 23. In the Gratz case, the Court struck down the undergraduate policy by a vote of 6-3.  But in the Grutter case, the Court upheld the Law School’s policy by a vote of 5-4, in an opinion by Justice O’Connor. [SLIDE] 

O’Connor’s opinion was a true majority opinion, joined in its entirety by four other Justices. It was remarkable for several things.

[SLIDE]  First, it stated, clearly and unequivocally, “we endorse Justice Powell's view that student body diversity is a compelling state interest that can justify the use of race in university admissions.”

[SLIDE]  Second, it endorsed Michigan’s concept of a critical mass.  “[T]he Law School's concept of critical mass is defined by reference to the educational benefits that diversity is designed to produce. … These benefits are substantial.  … [T]he Law School's admissions policy promotes 'cross‑racial understanding,' helps to break down racial stereotypes, and 'enables [students] to better understand persons of different races.'  These benefits are 'important and laudable,' because 'classroom discussion is livelier, more spirited, and simply more enlightening and interesting' when the students have 'the greatest possible variety of backgrounds.'”

““The … need for critical mass [does not reflect a] belief that minority students always (or even consistently) express some characteristic minority viewpoint on any issue.'  To the contrary, diminishing the force of such stereotypes cannot [be] accomplish[ed] with only token numbers of minority students.”

[SLIDE]  This much is, to some extent, familiar ground.  But O’Connor’s opinion also noted another justification for affirmative action:

“[U]niversities, and in particular, law schools, represent the training ground for a large number of our Nation's leaders. … [SLIDE]  In order to cultivate a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry, it is necessary that the path to leadership be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity.”

[SLIDE]  Justice O’Connor went on to explain why our policy was not a quota.  “Quotas impose a fixed number or percentage which must be attained, or which cannot be exceeded.  … In contrast, a permissible goal requires only a good faith effort to come within a range.”

“Here, the Law School engages in a highly individualized, holistic review of each applicant's file, giving serious consideration to all the ways an applicant might contribute to a diverse educational environment.  

The Law School affords this individualized consideration to applicants of all races.”

Finally, Justice O’Connor made the following observation:

[SLIDE] “It has been 25 years since Justice Powell first approved the use of race to further an interest in student body diversity in the context of public higher education.    Since that time, the number of minority applicants with high grades and test scores has indeed increased.  We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today.”

This final sentence has received much attention.  Was Justice O’Connor making a prediction about how much progress our society will make, or was she establishing a fixed time limit?  It seems obvious to me that she was being studiously ambiguous, setting forth a strong challenge for our society.

At the end of the day, America’s embrace of affirmative action is tenuous and uneasy.  Whether people supported us or opposed us, most Americans believed that, in explicitly using the category of race to structure our affirmative action program, we were using a very dangerous tool.  Think of a very sharp knife.  Or a caustic chemical.  Or a technology like recombinant genetics.  Or any tool that could, in the wrong hands, cause enormous harm to innocent people.

Not everybody trusts universities with sharp knives.  Not everybody believes that we are sincere.  [SLIDE]  One need look no further than Justice Scalia’s vituperative dissent, in which he refers to “universities that talk the talk of multiculturalism and racial diversity in the courts but walk the walk of tribalism and racial segregation on their campuses.”

I don’t often find myself quoting Justice Scalia, but I believe that his assertion that we at American universities are hypocrites about racial diversity is an assertion that would attract significant public agreement.  And I believe we need to take that argument as an urgent challenge.

[SLIDE].  And this brings me to the second part of my talk this morning.  Even if we assume that affirmative action is legal, there is ongoing passionate discussion of two questions.  One, which I won’t address in my initial comments, although we could discuss it later on, is what can be done outside of universities, in the rest of our society, to make affirmative action unnecessary by 2028.  The second, which 

I will address, is what must be done inside universities to ensure that we really are claiming for our students the benefits of an affirmative action program that we articulated in court.

Now let me begin by noting that a rather superficial discussion prevails today about whether American universities are doing the necessary work to obtain the educational benefits of affirmative action is quite superficial.  Critics point to lunch tables in the cafeterias of American universities and see groups of students that are separated by race.  They say, “See, your campuses are segregated, not integrated.”  Defenders say, “Don’t look at the cafeterias, look at the classrooms.  They’re a heterogeneous mix of races.  We’re highly integrated.”

To understand which perspective is right, it is important to be precise about the kinds of intellectual benefits that might come with having integrated campuses.  While there is debate about that question, I believe that, in the United States, two benefits in particular stand out.

The first potential benefit of an integrated campus is the intellectual benefit of perspective enlargement.  

As Bill Bowen has expressed it, “Students need to learn how to put themselves in other people’s shoes.”  Others might say that students need to see the world through other people’s eyes. 

In our efforts to become better at imagining multiple perspectives on the world, it is enormously helpful to build a base of experience by listening to others describe how they actually see a situation.  It is helpful to listen through the voice of literature.  It is also helpful to listen to a live person, someone you know and trust, who is sharing the same experience with you and who is prepared to engage in sustained conversation that goes beyond a quick exchange.

The second potential benefit of an integrated campus is, in some ways, a special case of the first.  It is the particular experience of role reversal associated with one’s identity as a member of a minority group or as a member of the majority.  Because of continuing residential segregation in the United States, very few of our white students have had a chance before college to experience what it feels like to be, racially, in the minority.  Our minority students are, of course, much more likely to have experienced both contexts in which they were members of the predominant group and contexts in which they were not.  But most of them had secondary school experiences that were mostly one way or the other – either they grew up as part of a relatively small minority in an overwhelmingly white environment or they grew up in an environment that was heavily “majority minority.”

How can we tell if, overall, students on our campuses are getting the benefits of perspective enlargement and role reversal?

Let’s begin with these snapshot pictures – of cafeterias and classrooms.  Does the existence within a cafeteria of significant numbers of racially homogeneous lunch tables mean that the project of integration is a failure?

I believe the answer is, they are suggestive but not at all conclusive. 

Segregated cafeteria lunch tables certainly prove that we are not raceless communities.  We are not colorblind.  Americans notice race.  We who are observing the cafeterias notice it.  And our students notice it. 

That is why being in an integrated environment carries with it opportunities for perspective enlargement and role reversal.  But we must acknowledge that those opportunities bring with them a certain degree of effort, of stress, of social risk.  And it is entirely normal and understandable that people might want, at times, to opt for lower stress environments.

Our ultimate collective aspiration might be to become a society where race does not have that kind of meaning any more.  But our short-term goal is to prepare students to live effective lives in a society where race still has that meaning but is nonetheless heterogeneous and integrated.

I believe our short-term goal should be to have our students live in a community that is meaningfully integrated, so that most of them are experiencing perspective enlargement and many are experiencing role reversal.

A meaningfully integrated community is characterized by behavior at the level of the individual, and a culture at the level of the campus.  For the individual, it means a daily ebb and flow between people like oneself and people who are different.  A commitment to move back and forth between the spaces that are safe and the spaces that nurture growth and challenge.  For the campus it means a shared commitment to value and support that kind of movement.  It means a consistent, openly voiced endorsement of the value of being meaningfully integrated – in action and not just in demographics.

So if that is what it means to be meaningfully integrated, at the level of behavior and at the level of culture, how will we know it when we see it?  The question is much more difficult than it might sound.

[SLIDE]  Imagine a community of 100 students, all of whom are either orange or green.  Suppose 80 are orange and 20 are green.  And suppose that no matter when you looked at the community you saw the same thing:  75 orange students huddled together, 15 green students huddled together, and one “actively integrated pod” of 5 orange and 5 green students.

I would submit that you do not yet have enough information to say whether the overall community is meaningfully integrated. 

To be sure, if it were the same 5 orange students and the same 5 green students in the actively integrated pod, every hour of every day, then I would readily conclude that the community is failing to be meaningfully integrated.  For 90% of the students would not be experiencing the benefits of integration.

But I would reach a very different conclusion if, over the course of the day, there were a constant rotation of students in and out of the pod.

[SLIDE]  Suppose that, within any given 16-hour day each of the 20 green students is spending 4 hours in the integrated sector.  And suppose that 60 of the 80 orange students are each spending 1 hour and 20 minutes in the integrated sector.  I would argue that, as a first cut, those 80 students are experiencing a meaningful ebb and flow in their lives.  Only 20% of the students (all orange) are getting no integrated experience at all.  As a first impression, I would certainly be open to the claim that this is a meaningfully integrated community.

[SLIDE] So when we evaluate ourselves, we need to keep several things in mind.

First, we need to focus on the right things.  Looking at a lunchroom and seeing a group of black students sitting together is no cause for alarm.  We should be alarmed if, when we look at a lunchroom, we see no integration pods at all.  But even a relatively small number of integration pods could be enough to signal a healthy community.

Second, we need to focus on flows, on the movement associated with an individual’s daily life, on the longitudinal rather than the cross-sectional.

Third, we should probably also recognize two different kinds of pods, which offer two different kinds of benefits.  Pods that include meaningful numbers of students from different races are where we can expect to find perspective enlargement.  Especially if there are three or more students from each race, we are more likely to find multiple perspectives expressed within each race, so that students from other races acquire more nuanced understandings of the extent to which race does and does not shape perspective.  But we should also be alert to the role reversal pods, the ones where we see a handful of white students amidst a larger number of minority students.  These pods do a special kind of educational work, one that I believe we should treasure.

I believe that there are real empirical questions here, questions that are worthy of serious investigation.  

And I believe that we should conduct the investigations.

And then, after we have investigated and reported what we see, what should we do next?  It depends, of course, on what we find.  But since this is a social phenomenon like so many others, we can expect to find a story of mixed success.  A small but growing number of students fully reaping the benefits of living in an integrated environment.  A small and shrinking number of students who spend four years in a diverse campus and derive almost no benefit from having done so.  A large, heterogeneous middle group that seems to be getting some benefit, but perhaps not as much as we might wish.

What should academic leaders do with the information once we have it?

One response might be to do nothing.  Especially if it appears that things are getting steadily better.  And there are certainly reasons to think that things are getting better.  My own impressionistic sense is that students today are living significantly more integrated lives than they did 20 years ago.  The emergence of hip-hop as a central feature of youth culture has changed the terms of engagement of students across racial boundaries.  So has the rapid emergence of strong Latino and Asian presences within our community, catalyzing a shift in our self-understanding from a biracial model to a multiracial model.  So I believe there is some merit to the idea that we should not do too much, lest we disrupt a process that is moving in the right direction.

But I think we can safely do at least a little more.  I think that, as academics, as teachers, as role models, as long as we are not too heavy handed, we can have an impact on the kind of culture we experience on campus.  We can provide regular, repeated nudging, to encourage our students in the direction of a daily ebb and flow.  Even more, we can nurture the integration pods that we see on our campuses.

Let me offer one example.  Ever since 9/11, Cornell University has seen an extraordinary alliance between our Muslim students and our Jewish students.  Year in and year out, we find remarkable efforts at joint programming, so that students from each group come to appreciate the perspectives of the other.  The projects have included a collaborative mosaic, and an annual banquet at the end of Ramadan that has drawn hundreds of students into a comparative discussion of the role of fasting in different religions.

These are important integration pods.  They emerged from student ideas.  But when I have spoken with the student leaders who brought them about, they have impressed on me how critical they felt it was that faculty members endorsed them.  Not so much through public pronouncements.  But by showing up themselves and participating.

Allow me to summarize this way.  Our students should reap the benefits of affirmative action; our campuses should be not merely diverse but also integrated.  To prepare themselves for life in an integrated world, they should take advantage of the opportunities we offer for perspective enlargement and role reversal.  This need not be a constant in their lives; a daily ebb and flow between the comfortable and the challenging is a worthy aspiration.

It is important that we monitor our success in this regard.  We should do the work of evaluating the prevalence of integration pods within our communities, and the extent to which they touch the lives of a broad cross-section of our students, and we should nurture them as best we can.

If we do all these things, then we will have done good work as Americans.  We will have helped to better align our society with the ideals that Gunnar Myrdal identified as the American creed.

I shall conclude now with some quick thoughts about the relevance I think our experience may hold for observers from other countries.  I would draw four conclusions:

a.                           [SLIDE] It is helpful to be explicit about why programs to enhance diversity are adopted.  In the United States, I believe that programs to produce more racially integrated campuses can give students experiences of perspective enlargement and role reversal that will better prepare them for life in a racially diverse, multicultural nation of immigrants.

b.                           [SLIDE] It is helpful to recognize what important values, like colorblindness, are compromised by an affirmative action program, and try to structure programs in ways that minimize harm to those values.

c.                           [SLIDE] If a compromise to such values is unavoidable, then it is important to proceed with caution, to recognize that sharp knives must be used carefully.  That means that it is useful to set targets by reference to concepts whose meaning is reflected in the sociology of student behavior, like critical mass, rather than through rigid quotas or  point systems that feel arbitrary.

d.                           [SLIDE] Finally, if a program of affirmative action is used, it is important to make sure that the benefits that are being sought are pursued after the admissions process is over, and to monitor whether they are being achieved in ways that justify the ongoing investment.

[SLIDE] I thank you very much for your attention.