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Peter Schmidt is available to speak at colleges, bookstores, schools, churches, and at gatherings of education associations. His past speaking engagements are listed at the bottom of this Web site. If interested in having him appear, e-mail him at email@example.com. He also is available as an expert source for journalists covering affirmative action. Those on a tight deadline should email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Color and Money Is a College Course!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Plans for Sweeping Study of Colleges' Admissions Preferences Are Met with Skepticism
The undertaking is called Project SEAPHE, with the acronym standing for Scale and Effect of Admissions Preferences in Higher Education. It will focus chiefly on affirmative-action preferences for minority students, but it also intends to examine the effects of the admissions preferences that colleges give other subsets of the applicant pool, such as athletes and the children of alumni.
The consortium's leaders say its researchers hold a wide variety of views toward affirmative action. Dozens of colleges and law schools have already provided the group with student data, generally in response to letters citing state freedom-of-information laws.
Some advocates of affirmative action have doubts about the consortium's neutrality and question whether its work will be objective. The consortium's leader, Richard H. Sander, a UCLA law professor whose work is described in Color and Money, has been widely attacked by affirmative-action proponents for his past research concluding that law schools' affirmative action policies may do minority students more harm than good by placing them in environments where they struggle academically. The consortium's efforts are being financed by the Searle Freedom Trust, a Washington-based foundation that has contributed generously to conservative groups such as the American Enterprise Institute.
An Chronicle of Higher Education article discussing Project SEAPHE in more depth is available here.