Lawmakers Demand Minority Enrollment Results from A&M

Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN — Minority lawmakers demanded Monday that Texas A&M University set concrete goals for increasing minority enrollment in the wake of its controversial policy not to consider race in admissions.

Source: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2281130

Continue reading “Lawmakers Demand Minority Enrollment Results from A&M”

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What Texas Promised in 2000

To begin Week Two of the legitimation crisis in civil rights that was precipitated by the Texas A&M Board of Regents, The Texas Civil Rights Review returns to the question of affirmative action as a civil right.

Summary: In 1980 the Texas A&M University Regents adopted affirmative action as a “good faith” commitment to civil rights. In 2000, Governor George W. Bush agreed that affirmative action would be pursued according to “controlling law.” With “controlling law” now back on the side of affirmative action in 2003, what gives the Regents the right to reverse their own “good faith” policy?

I have read with interest some of the weekend news reports that still fail to acknowledge certain basic facts, chief among them being that Texas is one of a few states that enjoys special status because the US Dept. of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has determined that the state exhibits vestiges of segregation.

Continue reading “What Texas Promised in 2000”

Did Texas Circumvent its own Civil Rights Obligations?

By Greg Moses

One week after the Texas A&M University Board of Regents officially ended affirmative action in admissions, a crucial question remains unanswered. In the process of eliminating affirmative action at Texas A&M, did state officials circumvent a 22-year-old promise to practice affirmative action as a civil right?

Texas made a promise to adopt affirmative action in college admissions during 1981 civil rights negotiations with the US Department of Education. In 1978, the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights began an investigation of higher education in Texas, and their conclusions demanded some action.

Rather than face the prospect of being ordered to desegregate its colleges and universities, Texas promised to undertake its own plan of integration. Part of that plan included the promise to undertake affirmative action.

Since 1981, the state of Texas has remained under the supervision of OCR, and a total of four plans for desegregation have been negotiated and approved. Today, Texas is still one of the states under OCR supervision as evidenced by the following passage from the OCR annual report of 2002:

“In addition to Maryland and Virginia, OCR continues to monitor the implementation of its higher education agreements with five other states, including Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania.”

To date, no public official or university administrator has addressed the question of the state’s obligations to the OCR. And neither the OCR Dallas office nor the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board responded to voice mail questions yesterday.

News reports generally characterized the Texas governor as being aloof from the decision to suspend affirmative action in admissions. But how can the Governor keep a distance from a process that alters the state’s prior commitments to a federal office of civil rights?

One Texas A&M Regent, attorney Bill Jones of Austin, recently served as general counsel to the Governor of Texas. So it is difficult to believe that parties to the Texas A&M policy were not aware of the state’s civil rights obligations. In fact, one would have to presume that state authorities, including the general counsels of the Governor and the Chairman of the Board of Regents, were very much aware that civil rights laws were being tampered with.

Apparently, the university’s stress on terms of “diversity” also helped to portray the new policy as something that had nothing to do with Civil Rights. Several phone calls to state offices and legal activists yesterday revealed that there is generally a very low level of awareness in Texas, even among public officials, that affirmative action was adopted in Texas as a “civil right.”

Evidence to date suggests the following logical alternatives. Either (1) the state of Texas took no steps to re-negotiate its commitments with OCR prior to the Texas A&M decision or (2) re-negotiations between state and federal officials were conducted behind the usual screen of oblivion that characterizes the lawful management of civil rights in Texas.

Therefore, either the state willfully ignored, and thereby violated its prior promises to OCR or a deal was cut without any opportunity for democratic intervention by affected classes or elected public officials.

In light of the evidence that has so far been presented by public officials and university administrators, the Texas A&M decision and its justifications clearly disregard the state’s own promises, made in 1981, to pursue affirmative action as a civil right until such time as the vestiges of segregation have been eliminated.

Under cover of the rhetoric of “diversity” it appears that Texas A&M has become the first public institution of higher education under OCR supervision to set its own terms of civil rights compliance. Why this should pass for normal tells us something about the civil rights climate today.

Did Texas Circumvent its own Civil Rights Obligations?

By Greg Moses

One week after the Texas A&M University Board of Regents officially ended affirmative action in admissions, a crucial question remains unanswered. In the process of eliminating affirmative action at Texas A&M, did state officials circumvent a 22-year-old promise to practice affirmative action as a civil right?

Texas made a promise to adopt affirmative action in college admissions during 1981 civil rights negotiations with the US Department of Education. In 1978, the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights began an investigation of higher education in Texas, and their conclusions demanded some action.

Continue reading “Did Texas Circumvent its own Civil Rights Obligations?”

Opinion: Perfect Backlash

The November feud between the Texas A&M University administration and the Young Conservatives of Texas over the impropriety of an “affirmative action bake sale” reveals that the concept of “diversity” need not entail a commitment to civil rights. Soon after the president of the university appealed to the YCTs for civility and diversity, he suspended civil rights in admissions.

Whether one opposes civil rights loudly and uncivilly, as with the bake sale, or loudly and civilly, as with the suspension of affirmative action, the common bond is opposition to civil rights as we know them in the 21st Century.

Continue reading “Opinion: Perfect Backlash”

TCRR Adopts phpNuke format in Dec. 2003

Here is the archived welcome message for the phpNuke website that was launched in response to Texas A&M’s abrogation of affirmative action in admissions.

Welcome. This portal responds to the immediate Civil Rights challenge posed by Texas A&M’s decision to suspend affirmative action in admissions.

Continue reading “TCRR Adopts phpNuke format in Dec. 2003”

A&M Diversity Hire Introduced to Full House

Texas A&M’s brand new Vice President for Diversity, James Anderson, was introduced to a full house audience Nov. 20 (2003), two weeks before university President Robert Gates announced that affirmative action would be suspended.

Is this what we now call two weeks notice?…

Interesting to note that the new VP was introduced on the occasion of the “3rd Annual” Diversity Symposium in 2003.

According to the student newspaper, one panelist remarked that Anderson, “hasn’t even been here (A&M) for 48 hours and has already been accused of many things.” In reply to which, Anderson was reported to have “laughed in agreement.”

Source: http://www.thebatt.com/main.cfm/include/detail/storyid/565269.html