AAAA and Eight Higher Education Associations to Release Statement on the Case of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin before the U.S. Supreme Court

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Media conference call to be held on October 9, 2012

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October 5, 2012, The American Association for Affirmative Action announces today a media conference call will be held Tuesday, October, 9 2012 at 10:00 a.m. EST to release statements on the U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (09-50822), one day before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the case.

The Fisher v. University of Texas case concerns the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Texas at Austin. The case, brought by undergraduate Abigail Fisher in 2008, asks that the court either declare the admissions policy of the University inconsistent with, or entirely overrule Grutter v. Bollinger, a 2003 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that race could play a limited role in the admissions policies of universities. An overruling of Grutter could end affirmative action policies in admissions at U.S. public universities.

The American Association for Affirmative Action, along with eight (8) of the nation’s higher education associations, the American Council on Education, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Association of American Medical Colleges, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, supports the use of race as a criterion in admissions for higher education.

According to the Executive Director of the American Association for Affirmative Action, Shirley Wilcher, “Educational autonomy is grounded in the First Amendment and it includes the freedom of a university to make its own judgments as to the selection of its student body. The Grutter decision confirmed this. The University of Texas should be accorded such deference in this case.”

The discussion on these positions in more detail will occur via telephone on:
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. EST.
Tel: 866-866-2244
Access code: 6169371#

About American Council on Education (ACE)
Founded in 1918, the American Council on Education (ACE) is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit http://www.acenet.edu or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

About American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA)
Founded in 1974, the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity. AAAA assists its members to be more successful and productive in their careers. It also promotes understanding and advocacy of affirmative action to enhance access and equality in employment, economic and educational opportunities. For more information, go to http://www.affirmativeaction.org.

About Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
Founded in 1876 and based in Washington, D.C., the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is a not-for-profit association representing all 138 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students, and 110,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at http://www.aamc.org/newsroom.

About College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) Founded in 1946, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) serves as the voice of human resources in higher education, representing more than 15,000 human resources professionals at over 1,800 colleges and universities across the country. Its membership includes 92 percent of all United States doctoral institutions, 75 percent of all master’s institutions, 60 percent of all bachelor’s institutions, and nearly 600 two-year and specialized institutions. For more information, go to http://www.cupahr.org.

About Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) HACU fulfills its mission by promoting the development of member colleges and universities, improving access to and the quality of post-secondary educational opportunities for Hispanic students, and meeting the needs of business, industry and government through the development and sharing of resources, information and expertise. For more information, go to http://www.hacu.net.

About the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Founded in 2006, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) is leading higher education towards inclusive excellence through institutional transformation. NADOHE serves as the preeminent voice for diversity officers in higher education by supporting collective efforts towards attainment of the production and dissemination of empirical evidence through research to inform diversity initiatives, the identification and circulation of exemplary practices, by providing professional development for current and aspiring diversity officers, informing and influencing national and local policies, and creating and fostering networking opportunities. NADOHE has 175 institutional members and 125 individual members. For more information, go to http://www.nadohe.org.

About National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) NAFEO is the not-for-profit umbrella organization of the nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Founded in 1969, NAFEO is the only membership association of its kind, representing the presidents and chancellors of the diverse black colleges and universities: public, private and land-grant, two-year, four-year, graduate and professional, historically and predominantly black colleges and universities. NAFEO was founded to provide an international voice for the nation's HBCUs; to place and maintain the issue of equal opportunity in higher education on the national agenda; to advocate policies, programs and practices designed to preserve and enhance HBCUs; and to increase the active participation of blacks at every level in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs in American higher education. For more information, go to http://www.nafeo.org.

The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) was founded in 1972 by the presidents of the nation’s first six tribal colleges as an informal collaboration among member colleges. Through AIHEC, tribal colleges nurtured a common vision and learned to see themselves as a national movement. Their work—research, advocacy and lobbying—was done through volunteerism and came almost exclusively from the presidents, community members, and other tribal and local leaders. Today, AIHEC has grown to represent 37 colleges in the United States and one Canadian institution and is the lifeline of these tribal colleges. For more information, go to http://www.aihec.org.

For more information contact:
Shirley J. Wilcher, AAAA
Tel: 202-349-9855; 240-893-9475
Email: execdir(at)affirmativeaction.org

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