The ASCB Women in Cell Biology Committee (WICB) recently discussed the controversy over affirmative action at the University of California. Caroline Kane of the University of California at Berkeley gave an update on the recent resolution of the Regents of the University of California to eliminate ethnicity and gender as factors in hiring and admissions. Relevant excerpts from the resolutions passed by the Board of Regents of the University follow:
Effective January 1, 1997, the University of California shall not use race, religion, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin as a criterion for admissions to the university or to any program of study.
Effective January 1, 1997, race, religion, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin shall not be a criterion for admissions in exception to UC eligibility requirements.
The WICB Committee recommended that a letter in regard to the suggested affirmative action modification should be sent to the Regents of the University of California. The letter was signed by eleven past, present, and future presidents of the ASCB, and sent to the University of California Regents in December. As this newsletter was going to press, the University of California Regents had a meeting on January 18. At that meeting, they were asked to rescind their resolution or, at least, delay its implementation. It has since been learned that the implementation of the most controversial recommendations will be delayed. If ASCB members would like to express opinions to the Regents, letters may be addressed to: Office of the Regents of the University of California, 300 Lakeside Drive, 22nd Floor, Oakland CA 94612-3550.