Even as lawsuits challenging its admissions policies made their way through the courts, the University of Michigan carried the torch for affirmative action in higher education.
The University's position on affirmative action was vindicated in June 2003, when the Supreme Court ruled that race may be used as a factor in university admissions programs. The Court thus upheld what the University had argued all along: diversity in the classroom translates to a beneficial and wide-ranging social value. With the green light given to the University's law school admissions policies, Defending Diversity validates the positive benefits gained by students in a diverse educational setting.
Written by prominent University of Michigan faculty, Defending Diversity is a timely response to the Court's ruling. With chapters that explore the factual background, historical context, and psychosocial implications of affirmative action, the book illuminates the many benefits of a diverse higher educational setting, demonstrating why affirmative action is necessary to achieve that diversity.
Defending Diversity is a powerful contribution to the ongoing discussion on affirmative action in higher education. Perhaps more important, it is a valuable record of the history, events, arguments, and issues surrounding the original lawsuits and the Supreme Court's subsequent ruling, and helps reclaim the debate from those forces opposed to affirmative action.