Race-Conscious and Race-Neutral Policies and Practices


November 18, 2014
The Playbook: A Guide to Assist Institutions of Higher Education in Evaluating Race- and Ethnicity-Neutral Policies in Support of the Mission-Related Diversity Goals
The Playbook, produced by the College Board Access & Diversity Collaborative, is a guide to assist institutions of higher education in evaluating race- and ethnicity-neutral policies in support of mission-related diversity goals. It is the product of several years’ research and collaboration with enrollment experts and higher education leaders. With a research-based analysis and focus on real-world examples, The Playbook catalogs many of the race-neutral strategies (“plays”) that have been adopted in various higher education settings. These strategies include both “individual” plays—student characteristics, experiences and skills that contribute to diversity—and "institutional" plays—institutional strategies and actions that can enhance student diversity.

June 24, 2014
The Future of Affirmative Action: New Paths to Higher Education Diversity after Fisher v. University of Texas

This volume is an outgrowth of a Lumina and Century foundations conference titled “New Paths to Higher Education Diversity.” The authors tackle the questions: What is the future of affirmative action given the requirements of the Fisher court? What can be learned from the experiences of states that created race-neutral strategies in response to voter initiatives and other actions banning consideration of race at public universities? What does research suggest are the most promising new strategies to promoting diversity in a manner that the courts will support? How do public policies need to change in order to tap into the talents of all students in a new legal and political environment?

June 17, 2014
If Affirmative Action Is Doomed, What’s Next?

This article reviews two books, “Place, Not Race” and “The Future of Affirmative Action,” that present versions of affirmative action that would combine racial and economic diversity. These books offer insight into obstacles, such as income, that minority children face that may be race-neutral.  The books, according to the article’s author, answer the concern that economic-based affirmative action is an inadequate substitute for race-based affirmative action. The article concludes by urging proponents of affirmative action to make race secondary and class primary.

May 6, 2014
Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America
The author, a law professor and civil rights activist, argues that affirmative action as currently practiced does little to help disadvantaged people. In this e-book, she reimagines affirmative action and champions place-based policies, arguing that college applicants who have thrived despite exposure to neighborhood or school poverty are deserving of special consideration. The author shows how the social costs of racial preferences outweigh any of the marginal benefits when effective race-neutral alternatives are available.

April 11, 2014
Emphasis Added: Fisher v. University of Texas and Its Practical Implications for Institutions of Higher Education
The authors outline the legal context associated with race- and ethnicity-conscious practices. As part of this overview of key legal rules and inquiries, they argue that the Fisher (2013) ruling should be a focus for all institutions of higher education (IHEs) that embrace race-conscious policies and practices to achieve diversity goals. At the same time, the authors remind readers that Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) and Gratz v. Bollinger (2003) offer guidance on developing and pursuing the kinds of diversity-focused admissions policies that could withstand strict scrutiny.

December 2, 2011
Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity In Postsecondary Education

The United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Justice explain how postsecondary institutions can voluntarily consider race to achieve diversity. The guidance describes the relevant legal framework for considering; sets forth considerations for postsecondary institutions in their voluntary use of race to achieve diversity; summarizes key steps for institutions seeking to achieve diversity; and provides examples of ways that, in light of this guidance, postsecondary institutions may choose to advance this compelling interest.