A Defender of Landmark Affirmative Action Decision, University President Weighs SCOTUS Case

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Universities in the city and across the nation will be watching closely as the Supreme Court once again takes up the issue of whether race and ethnicity can be used in determining admission to college.

It’s a topic Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University, is very familiar with. It was during his tenure as president of the University of Michigan that the Supreme Court  upheld the affirmative action policies of the university’s law school in the landmark 2003 case Grutter v. Bollinger.

Bollinger says affirmative action has been crucial to the success of higher education in the country. “We really have the best, and part of that is because of the diversity that we offer,” he told WNYC.

He did, however, note the case the court will take up, which involves the University of Texas' Top Ten program, is different from the Michigan case, and involves a system not used by other schools.

Listen to Amy Eddings' full interview with Lee Bollinger above.