CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Conference on future of affirmative action to be at UI Oct. 30-31
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The future of affirmative action policies and how
they will continue to affect universities and workplaces nationwide is
the topic of "A Conference on the Future of Affirmative Action"
set to take place at the University of Iowa Friday and Saturday, Oct. 30-31.
A 9:30 a.m. welcome will begin the event which will be followed by five
one-hour sessions from 10:30 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. Oct. 30 in the Gold Room
of Oakdale Hall at the UI's Oakdale Campus.
A roundtable discussion will close the conference at 3:30 p.m. Oct.
31 on the main campus at the Pappajohn Business Administration Building,
Attendance at the conference is free to the public, but advance reservations
Nationally known legal researchers and affirmative action scholars will
explore the state of affirmative action and what future legal and innovative
changes in affirmative action policies people nationwide are likely to
see, says Kevin T. Leicht, associate professor of sociology at the UI and
a conference organizer.
"The conference is one of several at the (Obermann) Center that
have presented research findings relevant to matters of current concern,
especially as they relate to educational practice and policy," says
Jay Semel, director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and a department
"The general public might be especially interested in the roundtable
panel discussion. The panel promises to offer thoughtful exchange on this
often controversial subject," Semel says.
Leicht is editor of "Research in Social Stratification and Mobility,"
a leading publisher on social inequality. He says the conference's goals
"We want to give industry, academic leaders and UI administrators
new ideas on how to think of affirmative action. We want to give researchers
new ideas on exploring affirmative action policy," Leicht says.
The panel of experts will engage in discussion in four areas:
-- What could be changed about affirmative action.
-- Creating alternatives to circumvent the roll-back of affirmative action
at public universities nationwide.
-- Discussing policy-based solutions to reduce tensions among proponents
and opponents of the policy.
-- Legal remedies to increase employer compliance with equal opportunity
Among those appearing on the panel is Teresa Sullivan, vice president
and dean of the graduate school at the University of Texas-Austin. Sullivan
will present a paper on university admissions in a post-affirmative action
Sullivan helped draft a ten percent rule created as a result of the
Hopwood v. Texas lawsuit which barred the University of Texas law school
from considering race in admitting students and determining financial aid
at any schools in the University of Texas System.
The rule determined that the state would admit Texas high school students
who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class, and in effect the state
would garner the same ratio of ethnic minorities prior to the Hopwood lawsuit
challenging the system's admission policies.
William Bielby, University of California-Santa Barbara professor of
sociology, will present a paper on the post-Proposition 209 era. Bielby
was an expert witness on the measure California voters approved last year
that prohibits state and local agencies and public colleges from using
preferences based on race and gender.
Others authorities on the policy who will present papers at the conference
Barbara Bader Aldave, St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Texas) professor
of law, Lauren Edelman, University of California-Berkley associate professor
of law and policy studies, Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, North Carolina State
University professor of sociology. From the UI: Susan Mask, director of
affirmative action, Nick Pederiana, sociology graduate student, Frank Schmidt,
College of Business professor of management and organizations, Robin Stryker,
professor of sociology.
The Obermann Center, the Center for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies,
the office of the vice president for research, the UI's sociology department,
and the UI College of Law are co-sponsoring the conference.
To reserve a seat for the Oct. 30-31 sessions, call Kevin Leicht at