A federal appeals court panel last week upheld the consideration of race in undergraduate admissions to the University of Texas at Austin, ruling that the university’s program did not violate the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause.
The university reinstated race considerations in admissions after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a race-conscious admissions program at the University of Michigan Law School in 2003.
Race is one factor for admission after Texas students from the top 10 percent of their high school classes claim places guaranteed by a state law. The program was challenged by two white students who were denied admission in 2008.
U.S. Circuit Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham, writing the majority opinion for the panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans, warned, however, that the university may eventually need to recalibrate its system.
A version of this article appeared in the January 26, 2011 edition of Education Week as Appeals Court Upholds Using Race in Texas Admissions