Throwback Thursday: MC Affirmative Action Director Doubts Bakke Case Will Affect MCAAP


As of last year, the student body was 72.3% non-white, and 52.7% female. For the Rockville campus alone, there were 3,790 black students and 2,117 Hispanic students. As for faculty, according to Montgomery County, 52% were non-white by 2010. However, at the Rockville campus, black make up on 16% of full time faculty, while Hispanics make 5% and whites make up 69%. This Throwback Thursday talks a little about the race issues at Montgomery County in 1978. There weren’t many minority students or faculty. Read a little bit of history on affirmative action in this article from Feb. 15, 1978.

MC Affirmative Action Direction Doubts Bakke Case Will Affect MCAAP

(Transcribed by Saagar Ahluwalia)

this is an imageEditor’s Note

Allan Bukke, 36 year old white Civil Eingineer, accused the Medical School of the University of California at Davis of denying him admission because of its minority quota system which allowed a number of minority students with lower scores to be admitted ahead of him.

Bakke won the case in front of the California Supreme Court; the regents of University of California, however, filed an appeal December 14, 1976 to argue the lower courts decision in front of the US Supreme Court.

Presently, the case is pending before the Supreme Court and a decision will come down between now and June, according to the Supreme Court’s Clerk Office.

However, according to Time (11/29/76). “…many civil rights leaders opposed the appeal for fear that the Supreme Court might strike down many affirmative action programs,” which may also include MC’s Affirmative Action Program (MCAAP).

by Ron Jones

Though the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the Bakke case may affect such affirmative action quota programs like the one at the University of California, Vivian Lawyer, Director of MC’s Affirmative Action Program (MCAAP) finds it doubtful that the Bakke case will directly affect MCAAP.

“The Bakke case seems to be getting at special admissions programs which implement 2 different set standards of admission in order to get minorities into educational institutions where they were unable to enter in the past,” said Director Lawyer.

MC does not require special admission standards, remarked Lawyer, for MC’s open Admission Policy does not act as a barrier for either minorities or other individuals.

Although MCAAP seeks to advise, help and hire both minorities and women on MC campuses (Rockville, Takoma Park and Germantown), it does not set aside a certain number of positions for both minorities and women to fill, said Lawyer.

According to Lawyer, to encourage either the enrollment or employment of anyone on the mere merit of race, sex, or nationality would be counterproductive for MC.

In certain instances, however, such as Professional Schools, Lawyer believes that special admissions programs become necessary, for these schools usually do not use “very objective criteria.”

These schools select what they believe to be the “cream of the cream:” usually people selected from the higher income levels, and very few blacks live in these high income levels. These schools, therefore, should seek qualified students from the lower income brackets. In order to recruit black students, said Lawyer.

While MC holds a open admission policy, Lawyer finds it surprising the low percentage of black faculty and of black students upon the MC campuses. Only 2 blacks faculty members are at Takoma Park and no more than 5 black faculty members are at Rockville.

This situation may be caused by what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission call “The Chilling Effect,” where if a black or minority thinks an institution hired a few minorities in the past, then that minority “consciously feels that they (minority) won’t be accepted here anyway,” stated Lawyer.

Another problem facing MC comes from the fact that many college black employees from the fact that many college black employees fill the food service and the custodial type jobs. MC, therefore, should attempt to do more in terms of training and “encouraging people to be upwardly mobile,” said Lawyer.

Lawyer hopes that most minority members begin to realize that MC offers many professional employment opportunity and that MCAAP can give them assistance.