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University of Kentucky working to keep diverse student body after Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action

Dr. George Wright on September 12, 2019. Photo by Pete Comparoni | UKphoto
Pete Comparoni/Pete Comparoni
Dr. George Wright on September 12, 2019. Photo by Pete Comparoni | UKphoto

The U.S. Supreme Court made a decision earlier this year that basically ended race-conscious admission programs at institutions of higher learning. U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, a longtime critic of affirmative action programs, said that the nation's colleges and universities must use colorblind criteria in admissions.

This decision raised concerns for some institutions, including Historical Black Colleges. George Wright is currently a senior advisor to the President of the University of Kentucky. He used to be the president of the HBCU Prairie View A&M University in Texas. He said moves like this can cause major problems for potential students.

“Especially first generation, and I would say at HBCUs but even at predominately white schools, say there is a climate in place that the court ruling would say that they are not as welcome, and it might not encourage people to apply.”

He said that UK started making alternative plans before the Supreme Court made their decision.

“If race could no longer be used as one of the things that was looked at when trying to make decisions, there were still other ways, and frankly, some of these had already been used by UK and other universities.”

Wright said at the end of the day, the goal of the university is to remain committed to having a diverse student body including African Americans and other under-represented groups.

Hear more with George Wright on Eastern Standard on WEKU.


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Stan Ingold is WEKU's News Director. He has worked in public broadcasting for 18 years, starting at Morehead State Public Radio before spending the past 10 years at Alabama Public Radio. Stan has been honored with numerous journalism awards for his public radio reporting.
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