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Bowen School of Law Wants Private Meetings on Affirmative Action Plan

Administrators from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock do not want reporters present when discussing new affirmative action policies at the law school, according to The Daily Caller.

Michael Schwartz, the dean of the UALR Bowen School of Law, held a meeting to discuss the Legal Education Advancement Program. Nic Horton is the editor of the Advance Arkansas Institute’s Arkansas Project. He attended the meeting. LEAP is a program designed to target economically disadvantaged and minority applicants for the law school. The program would permit the students to study different courses and take alternate tests.

Should the program be installed it would possibly be unconstitutional. LEAP would violate Supreme Court rulings regarding race-based admissions decisions, according to Dan Greenberg. Greenberg is the president of the Advance Arkansas Institute.

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“I think its constitutionality is highly unlikely,” Greenberg said. “The Supreme Court has said that ‘a race-conscious admissions program … cannot insulate each category of applicants with certain desired qualifications from competition with all other applicants.’ It cannot ‘put members of those groups on separate admissions tracks.’”

Horton being at the meeting has caused a bit of a problem, as Schwartz asked him multiple times why he was in attendance. He also announced to the faculty members of the law school that there was a reporter in their midst who was recording their conversation. Schwartz postponed a vote on LEAP to a later time.

Horton then asked when the vote would occur and was told he was not allowed to attend.

“I’m sorry, but you do not have a right to attend our faculty meetings,” Schwartz wrote to Horton in an email. “The faculty is not a governing board of the university. I allowed you to come to one meeting as a courtesy. You are not invited to the special meeting or any other meeting.”

Horton said that the Constitution of the law school and the FOIA law of Arkansas mandates open meetings.

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