The Chronicle story also reports:
The Obama administration's intent to be much more supportive of race-conscious admissions than the Bush administration became clear last month, when top lawyers from the Education and Justice Departments joined in submitting a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the University of Texas at Austin in a lawsuit pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The brief reinforces the university's defense of its race-conscious admission policies.
Whereas the Bush administration had sided against the University of Michigan in a Supreme Court case challenging that institution's consideration of applicants' race, the brief the Obama administration lawyers filed last month strongly endorsed Texas's argument that only race-conscious admissions policies would provide it with sufficient levels of diversity to reap the educational benefits it sought.
"In view of the importance of diversity in educational institutions," the brief said, "the United States, through the Departments of Education and Justice, supports the efforts of school systems and postsecondary educational institutions that wish to develop admission polices that endeavor to achieve the educational benefits of diversity" in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling upholding Michigan's consideration of race.