Fort Worth Star Telegram Summary

Posted on Thu, Jan. 08, 2004

DALLAS & STATE DIGEST
Wire

Reports
AUSTIN

Lawmakers press A&M to change legacy policy

A

group of angry state lawmakers implored Texas A&M University on Wednesday to change an admissions

policy that gives preference to applicants whose parents or grandparents graduated from the

school.
Representatives of state civil rights groups indicated that they would sue the school if

the policy doesn’t change.

The school, which recently decided it would not consider

race as a factor, last year admitted through its legacy program more than 300 students who would not

have qualified otherwise.

“More students were admitted because Mom or Dad went to A&M

than the total number of African-Americans admitted,” Gary Bledsoe, president of the National

Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said at a news conference.

Bledsoe

called the admissions program “inherently discriminatory” because blacks did not attend Texas A&M

until 1963, negating the “legacy” of many minority applicants.

“It clearly undermines

the ability of minorities to be able to get the fruits of their labor,” Bledsoe

said.

Despite the school’s refusal to consider race in admissions, A&M President Robert

Gates has promised lawmakers that he would lead a charge to increase minority

enrollment.

“As I indicated several weeks ago when I met with concerned legislators,

the admissions process has been under review and will continue to be evaluated to ensure that it

achieves one of the university’s primary objectives — that of having a student body that is more

representative of the state of Texas,” Gates said in a statement released

Wednesday.

A&M is the state’s only public school with a legacy program to boost alumni

support.

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