How President Trump's affirmative action reversal affects Texas

How President Trump's affirmative action reversal affects Texas Tech

LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Trump administration abandoned Obama-era policies requiring universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying campuses.

Instead, it is promoting race-neutral admission standards.

Texas Tech Chancellor Robert Duncan said it is still too early to tell how the university's admission policy may change.

"Seems to me that's it's not going to change a lot of things that institutions do, but we'll have to wait and see," Duncan said. "I think it's a little bit early to give you a definitive answer though."

President Trump's guidelines are not legally binding. However, school officials who keep the existing policies could face a Justice Department investigation, lawsuit or even lose federal funding. Duncan said despite whatever policies the Trump Administration decides to replace it with Tech will continue pursuing a diverse student body.

"It's an important thing in our country, it's certainly important in Texas and important here on this campus and so we will certainly always continue to strive to be open to diversity and encourage diversity as a part of our future missions," Duncan said. 

Tech is already designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution. It surpassed the required 25 percent of full-time undergraduate students who are Hispanic. Duncan said the university has ground to make up in diversifying in other areas though.

"We want to do that, we believe that is a part of our mission in strength and that will continue to be a very important part of us despite what Affirmative Action programs there it's something we believe is important for the stature of our university and for the signature education and for the signature experience we like to talk about here," he said.

The issue of affirmative action is expected to revisit the court system as Asian-American students claim Harvard systematically excluded some applicants to maintain slots for students of other races.

Back in 2016, the Supreme Court ruled schools could consider race as one factor in admissions.

Retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the 4-3 majority; "it remains an enduring challenge to our nation's education system to reconcile the pursuit of diversity with the constitutional promise of equal treatment and dignity." 

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