Colleges Column

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One-fifth of those responding to a survey of white students at the University of Massachusetts' Amherst campus said they support preferential treatment for applicants who are children of alumni but oppose similar admissions policies for African-Americans.

Over all, 99 percent of the 600 respondents said they believe in integrated schools. Slightly more than half supported busing as a way to achieve racial balance in schools.

"A lot of these students are from Boston,'' Philip N. Cohen, one of the researchers, remarked, "and had some experience of being in white schools that had some black students bused in.''

Mr. Cohen, one of two sociology graduate students conducting the survey, said he was surprised by some of findings, citing the fact that 43 percent of the respondents who identified themselves as conservative said they supported busing. And, he noted, 73 percent of the respondents who labeled themselves as liberal opposed preferential treatment for blacks in admissions.

State policymakers think that public higher education should make its relationship with K-12 education one of its top concerns. Accountability, school-to-work transition, and faculty workloads were also top issues for policymakers in an annual survey of state college and university leaders conducted by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

In contrast, on-campus administrators and educators think recruitment and retention of minority students and overall graduation rates should be priorities.

Copies of the "Report of the States'' are available for $12 each for members and $10 for nonmembers from AASCU Publications, 1 Dupont Circle, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Only 31 percent of public college and university administrators rated their institutions' financial condition as "excellent'' or "good,'' a 9 percent decrease from last year, according to the American Council on Education's annual "Campus Trends'' report.

In contrast, about 45 percent of the administrators at private colleges who were surveyed described their campuses' fiscal condition as excellent or good, down 1 percent from the 1993 survey.

Copies of the report are available for $13 each from the American Council on Education, Department 36, Washington, D.C. 20055-0036; (202) 939-9450.

Vol. 13, Issue 40, Page 6

Published in Print: August 3, 1994, as Colleges Column
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