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Applications Quest: Achieving Diversity in the Proposal 2 Era

Dr. Juan Gilbert

Dr. Gilbert is the TSYS Distinguished Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Software Engineering Department of Auburn University
In 2003, two land mark cases challenged the University of Michigan admissions policies, one focused on Law School admission and the other on undergraduate admissions. In Grutter v. Bollinger, the case focused on the Law School, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the Law School. However, in the Gratz v. Bollinger, by a vote of 6-3, the Court reversed, in part, the University's undergraduate admission's policy to provide points for race/ethnicity. Therefore, the Court decided that race could be considered in admission's decision, but could not be the deciding factor. Recently, Michigan residents voted to adopt a ban on racial and gender preferences through Proposal 2. Furthermore, the Supreme Court is hearing two cases on race-conscious school placement policies in Louisville and Seattle. In all of these cases, it is clear that racial and gender preferences are either over or on their way out. However, the need to diversify still exists, as explained by the courts and researchers. How can institutions achieve diversity without considering race, gender, etc? In an effort to address these issues, a data mining tool called Applications Quest, http://www.ApplicationsQuest.com , was developed by Dr. Juan E. Gilbert. Applications Quest allows the use of race/ethnicity, gender or any other attributes to be considered in admissions, school assignments, employee hiring or any other application processing area, such that no preferences are given to race or gender.

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