Assembly Document #293 adopted May 13, 2002
In support of diversity
In the 1978 Bakke case, the Supreme Court held that race may properly be considered as a factor in a university's admissions program, and that achieving diversity is a compelling interest for an institution of higher education. The court also based its decision on the principle that racial classifications call for strict judicial scrutiny, meaning that where race is used as a consideration in admissions, there must be (1) a compelling interest in doing so, and (2) the program must be narrowly tailored to serve that interest.
The admissions decisions made by UW Madison use minority status as a "plus factor" to serve the university's compelling interest in achieving diversity. The admissions procedures are narrowly tailored to achieve that goal, depending, as they do, on a thorough, highly individualized review of each applicant in which race does not become the sole determinant for admission. In recent days, Chancellor John Wiley has once again described at length how UW-Madison's admissions decisions are made. We believe these decisions are consistent with the strict scrutiny standard of the Bakke decision.
During a September 7, 2001 meeting of the Board of Regents, UW Acting General Counsel Patricia Brady described several reasons why s.36.12, Wis. Stats. (which prohibits discrimination against students) should not be interpreted as conflicting with the principal established in the Bakke decision.
The UW-Madison Academic Staff Executive Committee and Academic Staff Assembly resolves to support and endorse UW-Madison's admission policies for achieving diversity.
We further reaffirm our support for, and endorsement of, hiring initiatives designed to create a diversified faculty and staff.