Although the College of Charleston abandoned their affirmative action policy two years ago, the school announced this week that racial preferences would be used once again in admissions practices.
According to a report from the College Fix, the College of Charleston is reinstating its affirmative action policy after dropping it two years ago. The College of Charleston failed to announce the end of the use of racial preferences in their admissions practices two years ago, but after local media revealed this week that the policy had been discontinued, the college quickly reinstated a racial preferences policy.
A statement from college president Stephen Osborne explained that the policy was initially modified in favor of a policy that favored “first-generation college students.”
There was no secretive effort to change the College’s policies by past administrations. And there was certainly no effort to reduce the College’s commitment to promoting diversity on campus.
Prior to 2016, the College’s admissions office conducted an additional review of students of color who were not initially recommended for admission to the College. The admissions office discontinued the practice after the summer of 2016 due to the positive results of various recruitment initiatives for students of color.
Osborne said that he recently ordered a return of the college’s affirmative action policies. Osborne said directly that the college will use race as a factor in the school’s admissions process.
In consultation with the chief enrollment officer and after listening to key stakeholders across campus and reviewing our recruitment strategies, I have advised the admissions team, effective immediately, to implement an additional application review of students of color and to make it abundantly clear that, as an institution, we do and will consider race as a factor in our holistic review process. While we are pleased that our overall numbers of students of color are improving, frankly we have not moved the needle enough regarding our African-American student enrollment. We need every tool available to us in order to ensure access. As stated many times before, diversity is a core value of this institution and plays an important part in shaping our campus community.
Affirmative action is a hot-button issue in 2018 as a major lawsuit against Harvard University is set to go to trial this fall. A group of Asian-Americans is suing Harvard after learning that the prestigious Ivy League institution has been systematically biased in evaluating Asian applicants.