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American Council on Education's Affirmative Action Initiative

The American Council on Education has developed a multifaceted initiative on affirmative action to ensure the continuation of sound practices and to help colleges and universities interpret proposed legislation and comply with court decisions. The ACE Board of Directors supports affirmative action as an effective tool for achieving diversity on college and university campuses.

Recent activities of the initiative have included:

  • In the spring of 1995, ACE convened a group of legal scholars and college administrators to discuss the legal framework that supports affirmative action and diversity programs in higher education.

  • ACE has produced three editions of its handbook, Making the Case for Affirmative Action in Higher Education, which provides information on current threats to affirmative action, research on the progress of women and people of color in higher education, arguments supporting affirmative action, information on legal issues, and suggested responses to safeguard affirmative action policies.

  • In addition to its ongoing work with AAC&U and other higher education associations, ACE also plans to convene meetings with civil rights organizations, the business sector, elementary and secondary education associations, and labor unions.

  • Initiative staff are collecting data on successful programs that have fostered outreach and diversity among students and faculty and hope to assemble a collection of personal success stories. Staff also are collecting evidentiary research to substantiate assertions that diversity is beneficial to all students in higher education and to colleges and universities.

  • ACE staff are also gathering information about public attitudes on the use of affirmative action in higher education and studying national polling data. They will sponsor focus groups in several cities. These efforts will help ACE to craft appropriate messages and conduct a more effective public information campaign.

To learn more about the initiative or to obtain current information and publications, visit ACE's home page on the World Wide Web at


The home page also contains the most recent version of Making the Case for Affirmative Action in Higher Education.

Electronic resources for diversity

Diversity Digest is part of a family of complementary projects called Diversity Works, supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and designed to create new pathways for diversity collaboration and connection. Through this project, you and your colleagues will be able to obtain information about diversity efforts in higher education from across the country through various electronic means. You will be able to find information on diversity efforts--including everything from syllabi to curricular models to exemplary mission statements--by visiting the DiversityWeb homepage at http://www.diversityweb.org

You can also access a tremendous amount of information on various diversity initiatives across the country via diversity connections--an electronic directory and relational database that presently provides the most comprehensive mapping of U.S. campus diversity efforts available. Visit diversity connections at http://www.inform.umd.edu/connections/

Finally, look for future information in Diversity Digest about hooking up electronically with colleagues across the country working on such issues as Institutional Leadership and Commitment, Faculty Involvement, Student Experience, Curriculum Transformation, Campus-Community Connections, and the latest Diversity Research.

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