Race-Neutral Civil Rights Commissioner Sends Survey

Chronicle Daily News, Feb. 13, 2004

“I am outraged that

opponents of affirmative action would go to these lengths to mislead people, to collect information

that they will use to attack affirmative action,” said Ms. Berry, who was appointed to the commission

by President Jimmy Carter and has led the panel since 1993. “It is illegal, immoral, and unethical, in

my view, for a special assistant to a commissioner to send a survey to colleges and universities that

will be led to believe that this is the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights undertaking the survey.”

“I hope that colleges and universities will not respond to it,” Ms. Berry said.

The survey, which was printed on commission letterhead, was sent to the colleges’

presidents by Christopher A. Jennings, a special assistant to Peter N. Kirsanow. Mr. Kirsanow, a

Republican, was appointed to the commission by President Bush and has frequently criticized race-

conscious college admissions in articles written for the National Review. In an interview Thursday, Mr.

Jennings said he was “just acting on Commissioner Kirsanow’s authority,” and “this is not an

official act of the commission as a whole.”

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