The Duke Model Defended


Duke’s own commitment to a racially and ethnically diverse student body was unequivocally affirmed in

the spring of 1988, when the board of trustees approved a statement of Policy and Criteria for

Undergraduate Admissions. The statement embraced the concept of “a student body that is diverse not

only in academic and personal interests and achievement but also in more general ways: racial, ethnic,

cultural, economic, and geographical.” It went on to say, “Special consideration may be given to

minority candidates. There is a strong commitment to provide educational opportunities for black

students and to increase further the diversity of the student body by having substantial representation

of Hispanic, Asian, and Native-American students.” Other categories of special interest were

mentioned–including children of alumni, North Carolina residents, and athletes. That remains the

university’s guiding policy. [Robert J. Bliuise, Re-Affirming Affirmative Action, Duke Magazine,

Sept.-Oct. 2003.]

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