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LIBERTY: Rights & Tolerance | July 24, 1995


An Unpublished Letter to Los Angeles Times

Your editorial was correct in pointing out that the facts got lost in the affirmative action debate by the regents of the University of California. According to the current edition of "UC Davis Magazine" [from my alma mater]:

"UC's affirmative action programs have an impact not just at the time of admission; most are preparatory in nature, helping students fully qualify for admissions."

"All qualified freshmen (those in the top 12-1/2 percent of graduating high school seniors) are admitted to UC."

"More than 95 percent of UC freshmen meet the minimum criteria for grade point average, test scores and number of college preparatory classes."

"About 4.5 percent...are non-UC eligible based only on grades, test scores and college preparatory classes and have been 'admitted by exception.'"

"A large number of the students 'admitted by exception' are white. Students are 'admitted by exception' because of such characteristics as veteran status, athletic ability, disability, special talents (such as musical ability), economic disadvantage, or race or ethnicity."

The result? "The proportion of entering freshmen who graduate from UC is greater now with its diverse student population than at any other time in the history of the university."

Therefore, even as a white male and former Regents' Scholar, I have to disagree with the decision by Governor Wilson and the majority of regents and agree with the assessment by President Clinton that affirmative action is indeed good for America.

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