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Continued: College diversity at risk

  • Article by: LEE C. BOLLINGER , Special to The Washington Post
  • Last update: January 16, 2012 - 7:26 PM

Last month, the departments of Education and Justice announced new guidance on the implementation of Grutter intended to encourage schools embracing the educational benefits of a diverse student body.

The action is a strong antidote to what had been a prevailing vagueness in legal guidance and its attendant chilling effect on university presidents and admissions officers. But the impact could be short-lived, for it will remain relevant only so long as the rationale for considering race in admissions remains constitutionally valid.

This is the wrong time for the Supreme Court to abandon its decades-old commitment to the role colleges and universities play in unifying and elevating U.S. society.

To ensure the nation's prosperity and fulfill our founding ideals of equal opportunity, the court should stand by its strong endorsement of diversity in higher education.

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Lee C. Bollinger is president of Columbia University and a director of the Washington Post Co. He was a respondent in the 2003 cases Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger.

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