Education

Ohio College: Trump’s Ditching Of Race-Based Admission Guidelines Won’t Change A Thing

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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An Ohio college suggested the Trump administration’s ditching of race-based admission guidelines wouldn’t change a thing at the school in an announcement posted Wednesday.

Sarah Bolton, president at The College of Wooster, said the Departments of Education and Justice’s rescission of seven race-based admission guidelines would not change the school’s dedication to increasing equity, diversity and inclusion.

“The administrative revocation of the prior guiding documents does not change the fundamental status of the law, as decided most recently in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016,” Bolton said. “Secretary DeVos has advised colleges and universities to use the Supreme Court’s decisions as guidance, and Wooster’s approaches to increasing the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of our campus community were already fully in compliance with the requirements outlined by the court.”

Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Kenneth L. Marcus and DOJ Acting Assistant Attorney General John M. Gore revoked documents including 20112013 and 2014 “Dear Colleague” letters, which advised college administrators how to use race to achieve diversity at their institutions. A few of the other documents addressed the 2013 and 2016 iterations of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case in which the Texas school using an affirmative action policy denied admission to a white woman. (RELATED: Justice, Education Departments Tag-Team To Take Out Seven Race-Based Admission Docs)

“The documents prematurely decide, or appear to decide, whether particular actions violate the Constitution or federal law,” Marcus and Gore said. “By suggesting to public schools, as well as recipients of federal funding, that they take action or refrain from taking action beyond plain legal requirements, the documents are inconsistent with governing principles for agency guidance documents.”

But Wooster claims it can still implement equity, inclusion and diversity policies because while the Trump administration has repealed guidelines, the rescission does not affect the underlying law.

“Secretary DeVos has advised colleges and universities to use the Supreme Court’s decisions as guidance, and Wooster’s approaches to increasing the diversity, equity and inclusiveness of our campus community were already fully in compliance with the requirements outlined by the court,” Bolton said.

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