This pretty much just regurgitates the Supreme Court’s ruling — no quotas, but otherwise have at it — but for some reason, the diversity crowd is up in arms:
The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has aroused the ire of at least one leading civil-rights group by telling colleges receiving federal aid that they may not consider race in admissions unless it is “essential” to their “mission and stated goals.”
The advice to colleges came in a letter of guidance sent to them by Stephanie J. Monroe, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, late last month. The letter represents the first attempt by the federal civil-rights office to tell colleges how it will interpret the U.S. Supreme Court’s last major rulings on the use of affirmative action in college admissions, its 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger decisions involving the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
The new letter also tells colleges that the diversity they seek “must be broader than mere racial diversity,” that “quotas are impermissible,” and that “providing individualized consideration is paramount and there must be no undue burden on other-race applicants.” In addition, it says, colleges must give “serious good-faith consideration” to race-neutral alternatives before using race in admissions, and the use of race “must have a logical end point.”
I just can’t imagine how the NAACP will achieve its preference goals under such strict rules. Schools will definitely be extra sure to give “good-faith consideration” to “broader diversity” without “undue burdens,” and only when such diversity is “essential.” Preferences are dead, and this lady named Stephanie J. Monroe stands victorious atop their bloody corpses!
There’s no way universities would interpret those phrases in favor of affirmative action. It’s not like they have a history of disregarding even explicit bans on preferences, or anything.