Race, Affirmative Action, and the Courts
The Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning kicked off their 2012-2013 Research Series with Associate Professor Karen Miksch presenting on "Race, Affirmative Action, and the Courts: Bridging the Legal Community and Social Scientists." Miksch's talk focused on race-conscious admission policies and the U.S. Supreme Court case "Fisher v. UT Austin."
Miksch summarized the social science research that was provided to the Court, including a brief she was involved with filed by the Civil Rights Project and submitted on behalf of 444 social scientists.The brief details the social science evidence in support of the University of Texas consideration of race as one factor to ensure the educational benefits of a diverse student body. According to Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project, the Fisher v. UT Austin case could "influence the future of racial equality... [and] affect every selective college in the U.S."
The event was well attended by undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from across the University. Participants engaged in lively conversation about the significance of this case and its potential to impact a diverse and integrated educational community. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on October 10, 2012.