Experts Publish Higher Education
Admissions Compliance Manual
Guidance for Admissions Officers on Anniversary of U.S. Supreme
Court Arguments in University of Michigan Cases
1, 2004) - On the anniversary of the Supreme Court oral arguments
in the University of Michigan affirmative action cases, three
leading law firms today announced the availability of Preserving
Diversity in Higher Education: A Manual on Admissions Policies
and Procedures After the University of Michigan Decisions,
an innovative publication that provides a clear, comprehensive
legal interpretation of the Supreme Court decisions to assist
universities and law schools around the country as they redraft
their policies to comply with the 2003 high court rulings.
200-page publication was researched and written by attorneys from
the law firms Bingham McCutchen LLP, Morrison & Foerster LLP,
and Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP. Preserving Diversity
is a tool for admissions officers, general counsels, and others
involved in crafting admissions policies.
admissions offices are currently crafting new policies, or revising
old ones," explained lawyer Michael Begert of Bingham
one of the manual's authors. "The knowledge that decisions
are being made right now about admissions procedures provided
the impetus to provide this crucial information."
Laird, former Director of Undergraduate Admissions at UC Berkeley,
added, "The Preserving Diversity manual combines careful,
intelligent legal analysis with practical information for campus
attorneys, admissions policy makers, and the admissions professionals
who carry out those admissions policies. It is an outstanding
tool for colleges and universities-and their boards of trustees."
Diversity describes the legal and constitutional framework
appropriate for reviewing race-conscious admissions policies and
provides guidelines for developing such policies in the aftermath
of the University of Michigan decisions.
publication also details documentation useful to support race-conscious
admissions plans, discusses remedial justifications for race-conscious
admissions programs, and analyzes the use of race in financial
aid, scholarship, recruitment, and outreach programs.
the Michigan decisions (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz
v. Bollinger), the Supreme Court embraced diversity as a "compelling
interest" for higher education institutions and allowed flexibility
in constructing race-conscious admissions plans.
issues are complex," explained lawyer Jennifer Lee Taylor
of Morrison and Foerster, "and different universities and
law schools will use varying admissions processes, as a large,
public undergraduate program will face different challenges than
a small, private graduate school program."
manual clearly articulates the relevant legal principles that
should guide various types of institutions in complying with the
Court's opinions," added Robert Borton of Heller Ehrman White
Walker, Vice Provost and Director of Admissions at the University
of Texas at Austin, explained, "Universities who have been
through a lawsuit on the use of race in admissions (and particularly
those who lost, as UT Austin did in 1996), have a keen appreciation
for the importance of the legal details of an admission policy.
This manual will be highly valued by the practitioners who run
admission offices, the administrators who set policy and the legal
departments who advise them.
Preserving Diversity manual will serve as an important
reference as colleges and universities review their policies following
the Supreme Court decisions regarding the use of race in college
admissions," Walker added.
three law firms compiled the compliance manual as a public service.
The manual can be downloaded free of charge at on this site (see
links to the right) and www.hewm.com
or by requesting it at www.bingham.com.
at each of the law firms are willing to provide further information
about the compliance manual to the press.
and distribution of the Manual has been made possible by a special
grant from the MK Level Playing Field Institute, dedicated to
promoting innovative approaches to fairness in higher education
and workplaces by removing barriers to full participation. For
more information, please visit www.lpfi.org.
the Complete Manual (PDF)
Manual (3.14 mb)
the Manual by Sections (PDF)
Table of Contents, Introduction
I: Basic Legal and Constitutional Principles
II: Admissions Programs
III: Useful Documentation to Support and Defend Admissions Policies
IV: Developing Admissions Policies When Considering Race is Prohibited
V: Remedial Justifications for Race-Conscious Policies
VI: Recruitment, Financial Aid, Support and Other Admissions-Related
VII: Faculty and Staff Hiring
2: Reaffirming Diversity: A Legal Analysis of the U. Mich. Affirmative
3: U. Mich 2003-04 Undergraduate Application, Guidelines and Process
4: "Race-Neutral" Policies
5: U.S. Dept. of Education Final Policy Guidance
6: Additional Resources