Chilling Admissions

Chilling Admissions The Affirmative Action Crisis and the Search for Alternatives

Edited by Gary Orfield and Edward Miller
paper, 142 Pages
Pub. Date: January 1998
ISBN-13: 9781891792007
Price: $15.00

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The essays in this volume represent the work of the leading scholars of affirmative action in higher education, and place the current crisis on campus in its larger context of historical discrimination and the legal battle for educational equity.


Chilling Admissions is an important contribution to a debate which often has relied more on rhetoric than reason. It will help elevate justice's side of the argument. — Julian Bond, Chairman, NAACP

This may be the most important book in higher education today. At a time in which affirmative action is under siege, this volume offers the facts--research on the consequences of repealing affirmative action, and urgently needed, workable alternatives for maintaining diversity on campus. It is a must read for anyone who cares about or is responsible for the future of America's colleges and universities. — Arthur Levine, President, Teachers College, Columbia University

The collection in Chilling Admissions is an important and desperately needed contribution to informed policy judgments about affirmative action in higher education. Its great value is to bring facts into what has become, more and more, a sterile and abstract ideological debate, fueled by political appeals to those who feel threatened by minority groups. I hope it is widely read, and stimulates more thoughtful discussion on its own level. — Burke Marshall, Professor, Yale Law School, Former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

An interesting, timely, and well-informed book on the impact of present efforts to eliminate affirmative action in college and university admissions. It illuminates many complexities that should inform debate on the subject. — Nathan Glazer, Professor of Education and Social Structure, Emeritus, Harvard University

Sheds vitally important new light on the effects of affirmative action. Enormously valuable. — Diana Chapman Walsh, President, Wellesley College

Chilling Admissions sheds light on one of the most heated subjects in U.S. higher education--the use of race-conscious affirmative action in admissions. The nine essays in this volume include detailed reports and analyses from the front lines of California and Texas, where affirmative action has been banned and universities, forced to radically redesign their policies, are struggling to devise viable alternatives for promoting campus diversity. Together, these essays place the current crisis in historical and legal context while raising the troubling issues of race, testing, and the definition of "merit" in college admissions. At the same time, they cast doubt on some widely held views about the actual impact and costs of affirmative action. The diversity of American higher education is often and properly described as the system's great strength. By taking 'affirmative' steps, colleges and universities have worked for a generation to create the diverse environments essential for learning and crucial for a healthy, productive society. For those concerned about the future of American higher education and our role in the society, this is an important book. — Stanley Ikenberry, President, American Council on Education

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