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Affirmative Action And The Impact On Minority Engineering Programs

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.58.1 - 2.58.8

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Paper Authors

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Robert H. Willis

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2570


Robert H. Willis Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory


Many educational institutions have developed special programs to deal with the underrepresentation of minorities and females on their college campuses. This has involved special admission policies, financial aide, additional support for students, recruitment of faculty, and special minority programs.

As the political, social and economic climate has changed, there have been those who seek to take advantage of the controversy surrounding affirmative action and diversity. It has been said by some that you can’t solve discrimination against minorities by discriminating against nonminorities. Others have stated that institutional and personal discrimination continue and if affirmative action is eliminated then it will have a negative effect on a diverse student body and faculty.

Proposition 209 has passed in California, but has been prevented from being implemented by a federal judge. The California University system recently stated that it will continue to use race and ethnic background as a factor in admissions, at least until it is resolved at the supreme court level. Other states are taking a variety of approaches, some have eliminated race based admission policies and race based scholarships, others are reviewing all programs that utilize race as a factor. At the federal level, the Clinton Administration has indicated they will support the department of Justice fight against Prop 209. Charles Canady (R-Fla) has indicated that he will reintroduce a bill to repeal affirmative action at the federal level.

In this climate there are those of us who implement, direct, supervise, manage, affirmative action initiatives and programs. What impact will the attacks on affirmative action have on the minority engineering programs?

In states where minority programs get public funding support there will be an increased effort to eliminate this funding.

There will be efforts to dismantle or revise programs for minorities.

Studies will be conducted to show the positive impact affirmative action has had

Willis, R. H. (1997, June), Affirmative Action And The Impact On Minority Engineering Programs Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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