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UNC Defends Its Race-Conscious Admissions Practices in Court

The famous well at UNC-Chapel Hill, with a larger building in the background.
Courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill
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Do UNC-Chapel Hill’s admissions policies disproportionately favor underrepresented minorities? That question is at the center of a federal court case on trial in Winston-Salem.

This is the third attempt by the plaintiff Students for Fair Admissions to overturn affirmative action admissions policies at a university for alleged discrimination against White and Asian college applicants. They were unsuccessful against the University of Texas at Austin, and the Harvard University case is awaiting appeal.

Students for Fair Admissions, Incorporated claims that race-conscious admissions policies at UNC-Chapel Hill provide Black, Latinx, and Native American students with an unfair advantage. The university has asserted that its admissions policies are constitutionally sound, though race is considered when reviewing applicants. Host Frank Stasio talks to WUNC education reporter Liz Schlemmer about arguments on both sides of the case and its long-term implications.

Stacia Brown comes to WUNC from Washington, DC, where she was a producer for WAMU’s daily news radio program, 1A. She’s the creator and host of two podcasts, The Rise of Charm City and Hope Chest. Her audio projects have been featured on Scene on Radio, a podcast of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; BBC 4’s Short Cuts; and American Public Radio’s Terrible, Thanks for Asking.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Reporter, covering preschool through higher education. Email: lschlemmer@wunc.org
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