CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
5 Old Capitol
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0557; fax (319) 335-0558
Coleman supports importance of diversity in university admissions
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman has joined
with the leaders of the nation's top research universities in reaffirming
strong support for continued attention to diversity in university admissions
in the wake of the passage of Proposition 209 in California and the Hopwood
ruling of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Association of American Universities (AAU), which consists of 62 leading
North American research universities, adopted a statement in support of diversity
during its annual spring meeting held in Washington, D.C., April 13-15. The
statement has also been published as a three-quarter page advertisement in
the April 24 national edition of the New York Times.
"I'm pleased that the AAU is taking a leadership role in supporting
the issue of diversity," Coleman said. "The statement echoes the
affirmation of the importance of diversity in the University of Iowa's strategic
plan, which makes it clear that the opportunity to work and study in a diverse
community helps prepare our students for life in a multicultural, multi-ethnic
and multiracial national and international society.
"This is especially true in Iowa," Coleman added. "While our
population is relatively homogeneous, our students will be entering a more
diverse work force and global economy. They are going to have to see the world
in more complex ways, and the university must do its part to prepare them.
We must offer them an abundance of experiences, in and out of the classroom,
that encourage them to encounter, understand and respect difference."
The statement reaffirms a "commitment to diversity as a value that is
central to the very concept of education in our institutions." And it
strongly reaffirms "support for the continuation of admissions policies,
consistent with the broad principles of equal opportunity and equal protection,
that take many factors and characteristics into account -- including ethnicity,
race and gender -- in selection of those individuals who will be students
today, and leaders in the years to come."
"We do not advocate admitting students who cannot meet the criteria
for admission to our universities," the statement says. "We do not
endorse quota or 'set-asides' in admission. But we do insist that we must
be able, as educators, to select those students -- from among many qualified
applicants -- who will best enable our institutions to fulfill their broad