Anti-Affirmative Action Group To Investigate Arizona Schools

Mohave Daily News (Bullhead City, Arizona), Feb. 19, 2007

National anti-affirmative action activists are investigating the higher-education admissions policies in Arizona and eight other states.

But officials at Arizona State University in Tempe, the University of Arizona in Tucson and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff say they aren’t worried. Race is not used in admissions decisions at any of the schools.

Nevertheless, the California-based American Civil Rights Coalition, is investigating the universities to decide whether to introduce legislation asking voters in the eight states how they feel about the use of race in admissions.

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University officials said the coalition is free to research Arizona higher education, but will not find what it’s looking for.

“A student’s ethnic background has never been used as a factor in determining admittance to ASU,” university spokeswoman Leah Hardesty said.

She said students are admitted only if they meet the academic qualifications.

UA officials emphasize diversity by recruiting at high schools with student populations that are underrepresented at the university, said Paul Kohn, UA assistant vice president for admissions and financial aid.

He said that Arizona hasn’t historically had the best reputation for being open to diversity and that an attempt to make higher education less diverse could backfire.

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