Affirmative Action and Minority Enrollments in Medical and Law Schools

Susan Welch and John Gruhl
Considers the impact of the Bakke decision regarding minority enrollment in professional schools


Affirmative action is one of the central issues of American politics today, and admission to colleges and universities has been at the center of the debate. While this issue has been discussed for years, there is very little real data on the impact of affirmative action programs on admissions to institutions of higher learning. Susan Welch and John Gruhl in this groundbreaking study look at the impact on admissions of policies developed in the wake of the United States Supreme Court's landmark 1978 Bakke decision. In Bakke, the Court legitimized the use of race as one of several factors that could be considered in admissions decisions, while forbidding the use of quotas. Opponents of affirmative action claim that because of the Bakke decision thousands of less-qualified minorities have been granted admission in preference to more qualified white students; proponents claim that without the affirmative action policies articulated in Bakke, minorities would not have made the gains they have made in higher education.

Based on a survey of admissions officers for law and medical schools and national enrollment data, the authors give us the first analysis of the real impact of the Bakke decision and affirmative action programs on enrollments in medical and law schools. Admission to medical schools and law schools is much sought after and is highly competitive. In examining admissions patterns to these schools the authors are able to identify the effects of affirmative action programs and the Bakke decision in what may be the most challenging case.

This book will appeal to scholars of race and gender in political science, sociology and education as well as those interested in the study of affirmative action policies.

Susan Welch is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University.

John Gruhl is Professor of Political Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Praise / Awards

  • "This book presents the first systematic judicial impact research (using the interrupted time series technique) and assessment of the impact of Bakke on minority enrollments in professional schools. . . . This should be required reading for undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and faculty, and professionals and practitioners."

Look Inside

Preface         vii
Introduction          1
Chapter 1: Desegregation, Affirmative Action, and Bakke          7
Chapter 2: The Context of Bakke: Resources and Competition          37
Chapter 3: Perceptions of Bakke and Its Impact          61
Chapter 4: Bakke and the Applicant Pool          85
Chapter 5: Bakke and Admissions Decisions          107
Chapter 6: Minority Enrollment and the Courts          133
Appendix A: The Survey          179
Appendix B: Schools Whose Surveys Were Completed          181
Appendix C: Statistical Information for Chapters 4 and 5          184
Notes           187
References          197
Subject and Author Index          213
Index of Court Opinions          223

Product Details

  • 232 pages.
  • 19 tables, 23 figures.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2010
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02271-7

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