Diversity in American Higher Education

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The Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy is pleased to announce the upcoming public forum co-sponsored by NYU Steinhardt Dean's Office and the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences


Economic and Racial Diversity in American Higher Education:
A Current and Future Perspective under Obama and the Supreme Court
Lia Epperson
American University Washington College of Law

Bridget Terry Long
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Ada Meloy
American Council on Education

Mitchell L. Stevens

Stanford University

Event Details:

53 Washington Square South

New York University

What does it mean for colleges and universities to open their doors and make education affordable and accessible for all? Do colleges and universities foster economic diversity through the new “no loans” financial aid policies? Have the new aid policies affected access for low-income students? Can colleges and universities foster racial diversity within the guidelines set by the Supreme Court and a Bush-era interpretation of them that limited affirmative action in admissions? Are the new guidelines recently released by the Obama Administration expected to have an impact in allowing institutions to employ additional strategies to include a wider range of students in admissions processes? And, what might be a likely outcome of the recent decision of the Supreme Court to hear another challenge to race-conscious affirmative action?

This symposium brings together Ada Meloy, the General Counsel of the American Council on Education, and a group of scholars who have contributed to the recently-published, Diversity in American Higher Education: Toward a More Comprehensive Approach (Lisa M. Stulberg and Sharon Lawner Weinberg, eds, Routledge, 2011), to confront the question of the future of economic and racial diversity in colleges and universities from legal, financial, and sociological perspectives.

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Lia Epperson is Associate Professor of Law and Director of the SJD Program at American University Washington College of Law. She is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, and education policy. Her scholarship focuses on the constitutional dialogue between federal courts and the political branches, and its implications for educational equity. Her research also explores the role of public schools, colleges, and universities in creating equal opportunity.
Bridget Terry Long is the Xander Professor of Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Long is an economist who focuses on college student access and choice and the factors that influence students’ postsecondary and labor market outcomes. She currently serves as the chair of the National Board of Education Sciences, the advisory panel of the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education.
Ada Meloy is the General Counsel of the American Council on Education. She serves as the voice of the higher education community on legal matters affecting the entire sector. Before she joined ACE in 2007, Meloy served in the New York University Office of Legal Counsel for 28 years, representing and advising the University and its faculty and administrators in all legal matters.
Mitchell L. Stevens is Associate Professor of Education and (by courtesy) Sociology at Stanford University. He is the author of Creating a Class: College Admissions and the Education of Elites (Harvard, 2007) and Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Homeschooling Movement (Princeton, 2001).

Summary of the Event

Ada Meloy, General Counsel for the American Council on Education, served a moderator for a discussion with Lia Epperson (American University Washington College of Law), Bridget Terry Long (Harvard Graduate School of Education), and Mitchell L. Stevens (Stanford University). Panelists discussed the ways that colleges and universities can foster affordable and accessible education for all students, as well as how legal, financial, and sociological issues affect economic and racial diversity.

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