Thursday, November 29, 2007


For my expert interview I talked to Dr. Herbert Davis who is the Associate Director of admissions at UNC. He is one of the top people at the admissions office so he was a great resource and it was a privelege for me to talk with him. Unfortunately, during this year all of the counselors are extremely busy reading applications so it was difficult to set up an interview and so to make it more convenient for him, I made it clear that I only would ask four questions and need less than ten minutes. Unfortunately this greatly limited the amount of information I could get from him. I asked the questions in the following order and below is a summary of his answer.

1) How large of a factor is affirmative action at UNC?

Race is only a small part of what is considered when looking at a student's overall diversity. Although diversity also includes factors such as socioeconomic background and whether its a first generation student so other things besides just race are taken into account. But above all we look at academic track record and demonstrated leadership. So if a candidate's academic record is not up to par, it doesn't matter how diverse they are, they won't be admitted to the school.

2) How are counselors trained to address the affirmative action policy?

All of the counselors stand by the universities diversity code which is clearly listed on our website. They are not supposed to allow race to be a determining factor, but instead at best it is a contributing factor to a candidates overall diversity profile.

3) Has the policy evolved since the Michigan case when it first became a national issue?

The only thing that has really changed is how we display it. We now make sure that it is out there and public so there is no confusion as to what our practices are. Making sure its public also forces us to keep to this standard which is good for both the candidates and our counselors as they strive to form fair and consistent admissions practices.

4) Do you see a possibility of it changing in the future?

No I think UNC has found a policy that works for us. We are committed to establishing diversity at Carolina and so I think a candidates overall diversity will always play atleast a small factor in our consideration of each candidate. Diversity enriches each student's experience and its not something we take for granted here at Carolina.

Again I think the interview was fairly useful but could have been better if I would have had more time to ask more questions, like what he thought of other schools practices and ask him about other studies I had read. But overall it was good and it definetly helped to reinforce some of policies that were listed on the UNC website.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


What are the demographics at schools that have eliminated affirmative action?
How much of a factor does UNC claim to consider race in its college admissions?
What are UNC's current demographics?
Have their been significant changes in universities admission policies since the controversial University of Michigan court case?
What is the most recent ruling a court has had on a university affirmative action case?
What regulations have been established by the government so far regarding affirmative action in college admissions?

Andvancing indiv project

1- Affirmative action in college admissions is still a major issue in colleges today.

2- In many cases, a school's affirmative action policy has large effects on the student body at university. Schools that have completly eliminated race as a factor in admissions have consistently seen less diversity among their student bodies, while schools that still consider race are often criticized for having unfair practices. Their have even been large court cases in recent history where schools have been sued for using race as too strong of a factor in their admissions. These cases have brought it into the public eye and it has most schools looking to modify their practices to avoid being accused of having unfair policies or being sued.

3- A closer look at specific universities' policies and their student body demographics would help to see how well these policies are doing at establishing diversity and if the new move towards eliminating race as a factor is warranted and effective. It may also help to determine if affirmative action in college admissions is a passing trend or if it will be around in most colleges for a long time to come.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Current Progress

It seems like research is going well. I found a lot of good information during my focused session today. Finding information has been easy but sorting through what is most important is the hardest part. I'm trying to focus mainly on the info that addresses my main question or one of the sub questions. I have also been seeing a lot of the same broad information so I'm still trying to find more specific information and actual facts and figures. I have found a little bit of specific facts so far but I'm hoping to find some more later on. All around though Iwould say this was a productive research session.

Research Prospectus

The topic of my research is affirmative action in college admissions. From my research I would like to address how big of a factor affirmative action is when it comes to acceptance of students of different ethnicities here at UNC. My research will compare UNC’s practices with other major universities and it will examine some of the larger affirmative action cases that have affected other universities. The comparison will also include universities who have completely gotten rid of affirmative action and compare how there demographics differ from UNC’s. I will be addressing it from an objective point of view in hopes of discovering how big of a role affirmative action plays in minority acceptance rates and also in establishing diversity for a university.
I chose this topic because it is close to home for me since I am a minority. I’m not sure how much of an advantage affirmative action gave me in getting accepted into UNC. I also wonder how much diversity would decrease if there was no affirmative action, and I think that can be discovered by examining those schools that have abolished it.
· How much of an impact does affirmative action have in college admissions here at UNC and is it effective in establishing diversity?
§ How does UNC’s affirmative action policies compare with other major colleges?
§ How does UNC’s diversity compare with colleges that don’t use affirmative action?
§ What are the common practices of most universities regarding affirmative action?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Current Info Need

I would say currently Kulthau’s theory fits pretty well with what I am experiencing now. I seem to have a good idea of the direction I want to take but I haven't actually started gathering information yet. Therefore, I am experiencing that stage of uncertainty just like in Kulthau's theory. But I'm sure just as his theory predicts, as soon as I start gathering the information I will feel more confident about the topic I have chosen.

Currently I need to know how much information is out there on affirmative action in college admissions. If there is a lot more then I expect then I'll probably need to narrow my topic to a specific region. But I might just end up keeping my topic as it is if I can't find a lot of good information for a specific region. So really the next stage for me is just researching the internet and the library trying to gage how much information is out there. Once I get a good picture of how many sources are available, then I can start narrowing down the relevent information.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Current Information Need

I think I will stick with the topic of affirmative action in college admissions. I believe that it won't be to difficult finding sources of information. I'm sure if I go to the library there will be atleast a few books on the subject and even more on specifically affirmative action. There will be tons of information on the internet about it but the only difficulty here will be deciphering which sources are reliable. I'm sure many people may write about this controversial topic in a biased viewpoint and since I'm trying to use a strictly objective view, I'll need to avoid using some of the websites I find.

One of the main reasons I want to stick with this topic is because I feel like I could get a lot of insight from an admissions counselor right here on campus. My other ideas would have been much harder to find an expert and even if I did I don't think they could shed much more light then what I could find in books and on the internet. However, actually speaking to an admissions counselor, I could see what goes through their head as they are reviewing a minorities application and how much of a factor it is for them. They may even have insight into how other colleges do it.

The only thing that may change about my topic is whether or not I decide to focus it more. I may try to narrow down my research to a certain region like the south but I'll only do this if I find sufficient information while I'm researching.