Appalachian plans to stay course on affirmative action policies


The Appalachian Online

Sammy Hanf

There are no plans to change Appalachian’s admission standards, which factors in race/ethnicity along with other criteria according to Megan Hayes, director of University Communications.

The New York Times reported on Aug. 1 that the Trump Department of Justice was redirecting civil rights division resources to investigating claims of “intentional race based discrimination.”

Critics took this as the Trump administration attacking affirmative action policies in higher education.

The DOJ characterized the reporting as false, claiming they were only continuing an Obama administration case alleging discrimination against Asian-American applicants to Harvard.

Hayes said that in regards to admitting students, Appalachian considers race/ethnicity along with other factors like academic aptitude, test scores, grades and first generation status.

“It is important that we consider many factors, because providing a diverse learning environment is critical to preparing students for their post-college lives and careers,” Hayes said via email. “Exposure to people who come from different backgrounds and life experiences is essential to this preparation.”

The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in a 2016 case that race/ethnicity can be a factor in university admissions providing there are no race-based quotas and the program defines a set of concrete goals.