Check out the new #AffAxnSyllabus to learn more about affirmative action from publications that have well-researched and evidence-based.
These are some common questions relevant to public debates over affirmative action, as applied to college admissions. Although affirmative action is also practiced in public contracting and employment, this syllabus focuses on the third area of its practice – higher education and selective admissions. The purpose of this syllabus is to highlight research that can better inform current public debates over affirmative action in higher education.
For the last several decades, with every legal and political attack on affirmative action, scholars of race and college access have fielded numerous media requests to discuss the implications of these attacks. Many of these questions have reflected the persistence of pervasive myths about affirmative action, its goals, and how it works.
As faculty, staff, and students at a land grant university, we offer this syllabus as a public education initiative. As some scholars have found, in addition to the pervasiveness of misinformation about contemporary affirmative action in the general public, bad information about the policy also persists among many who are actively advocating for or against affirmative action. We hope that this syllabus can serve as a resource to establish a basic understanding of affirmative action, including how it has evolved since the 1970s in the U.S., and to advance a more informed public discourse and policy debate. Particularly as contemporary attacks on affirmative action continue through the federal courts and the Trump administration actions, it is important for public dialogues to be well-informed. As such, we have created this syllabus to feature publications that have been identified as well-researched and evidence-based works.