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1978: Affirmative Action Barely Survives an Early Challenge

February 28, 2016

50 Years of Covers

In November 2016, The Chronicle of Higher Education will mark its 50th anniversary. To lead up to the occasion, we’ve chosen front pages featuring some of our reporting on key events in higher education and capturing the zeitgeist of the nation’s colleges and universities over the years.

View the full collection.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke that college admissions offices can give only slight consideration to race, and then only for the sake of advancing students’ educational interests, not to remedy societal discrimination or to increase diversity. That ruling has reverberated through higher education in the decades since. “In initial reactions to the decision,” we reported, “both sides claimed at least a partial victory.” And battles over affirmative action have continued unabated. Allan Bakke, the plaintiff in 1978, went on to graduate from the medical school at UC-Davis and became an anesthesiologist in Minnesota.