Postsecondary Education Statewide Diversity Study
The Council reached agreement with the presidents and fellows of Harvard University on behalf of their Civil Rights Project, effective March 5, 2007, to conduct a statewide diversity study for public postsecondary education in the Commonwealth to be completed fall 2008. The study is intended to produce targeted research that translates into policies for diversity planning in Kentucky.
The study will present recommendations on policies or changes in policy necessary at the Council and each institution to ensure that Kentucky complies with the standards articulated by the Supreme Court in the Michigan cases Grutter and Gratz, Kentucky, and federal law. The study will:
- Identify the mission-based governmental interest that the Commonwealth, the Council, and each public postsecondary education institution has in developing and implementing a diversity plan, including a clear statement of the value of diversity and supporting facts that are sufficient to meet the requirements of the Michigan cases, Kentucky, and federal law.
- Assess the extent to which race-neutral alternatives would be workable in implementing each component of a diversity plan, tied directly to Kentucky results.
- To the extent that actions taken under a diversity plan may include the necessary use of race or national origin, articulate the policies and policy changes necessary to ensure that the diversity plan is narrowly tailored as required by the Supreme Court, Kentucky, and federal law.
- Identify the appropriate characteristics for Kentucky’s diversity plan, i.e., the areas to be evaluated, measured, and acted upon. Without being limited to these activities, the diversity plan should address the role of recruitment, admissions, financial aid, retention, support services, and integration of diversity values with academic, residential life, extracurricular activities, and other campus-based programs. It should also address the role of Kentucky public postsecondary education in improving the K-12 public school system, closing achievement gaps among groups of students, increasing the development and graduation of highly qualified teachers for work in Kentucky schools, and improving the readiness of public school graduates for postsecondary education.