An article from five years ago quoting Charles Young from 1996 re my university, that I agree with:
I'm putting a bit that matters to me in italics.
UCLA ‘greater’ because of affirmative action – University of California, Los Angeles
June 18, 2007
by Charles E. Young
In the past year, no issue has so touched the University of California as affirmative action and the controversy it has generated.
I have seen the affirmative action initiatives undertaken at UCLA in the past 20 years succeed in yielding the most diverse population of any research university in the United States. Simultaneously, UCLA has developed into one of our nation’s finest institutions of higher learning. This was no coincidence: Diversity and educational excellence go hand in hand.
But affirmative action has come under fire nationwide. In California, the Board of Regents, which governs the nine universities in the University of California system, voted last year to halt the consideration of race, gender and ethnicity in admissions and hiring decisions. This vote was regrettable and could undermine important gains.
UCLA could not have achieved its current level of diversity without affirmative action. We were an excellent university 25 years ago. We are a much greater university today — in large measure because we are so diverse. In 1980, our entering freshman class was two-thirds Caucasian; today, more than two-thirds are ethnic minorities: 39 percent Asian American, 24; percent Latino and 8 percent African American, The percentage of Latino students now in the freshman class is a record number for UCLA.
The notion that affirmative action benefits only those individuals whom it reaches out to is mistaken, in my view.
It is not something we do for them; it’s something we do for ourselves.
As we look to the future, we must ask ourselves how we can maintain diversity at UCLA without the benefit of affirmative action. We know it will be a great challenge.
At least 80 percent of UCLA’s 25,500 under-graduate applicants last fall met the eligibility standards to attend, When choosing a freshman class from so many qualified applicants, our practice in recent years has been to admit about 60 percent on academic criteria alone — grades, test scores and the quality of courses a student has taken. But we’ve learned that these measures don’t tell the whole story of a student’s potential. So we admit the remainder of the class — who still meet our eligibility requirements — on academic and supplemental material combined. These criteria include California residence, ethnic identity, physical and learning disabilities, educational disadvantage, family income, whether a student comes from a two-parent or single-parent family, is first-generation college bound or has special talents and experiences.
By abandoning consideration of race or ethnicity in selecting students, we fear the number of Latino and African-American students at UCLA will decline significantly while the number of Asian and Caucasian students will increase. Our analysis suggests there is no other admissions formula that will yield the atmosphere we’ve created at UCLA.
DR. CHARLES E. YOUNG Chancellor, University of California-Los Angeles
COPYRIGHT 1996 Cox, Matthews & Associates
The consideration of applicants at the UCs has been between students who qualify, and I'm very sure the history of choices of applicants in U.S. universities in general have not been solely about who got the highest possible grades and SAT scores. Alumni children come to mind, as a start. In my youth, it was men who were almost entirely the gainees of entrance to medical school (see mcat list of schools and who was accepted, circa 1962.) The impetus toward diversity, including ethnic/racial/genders, among qualifiers is reasonable, desirable, to me.
I'm not talking quotas, but consideration among other considerations within the list of qualified.