US: Unintended 'whitening' of University of California?

For several years now, the University of California has been debating plans to drop the SAT Subject Tests and to find ways to consider more minority applicants, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed. The debate has focused on the relative merits (or lack thereof) of the SAT and how to promote diversity while not violating the state's ban on affirmative action. Last week, a new issue started to attract attention: concerns that admissions policy changes to be approved by the Board of Regents could lead to a significant drop in the numbers of Asian-American applicants who are admitted - with the major gains going to white applicants.

According to data prepared by the university and just starting to receive attention, 36% of those admitted to the university system in 2007-08 were Asian Americans. Applying the new admissions standards, that percentage would drop to 29-32%. In contrast, white applicants made up 34% of those admitted in 2007-08. Under the proposed reforms, they would have made up 41 to 44% of the entering class. The bottom line is that Asian Americans would shift from being the largest group gaining admission to the University of California to the second.

Some Asian American groups called on the Board of Regents to hold off on any vote, raising questions about the fairness and wisdom of the changes being considered. But university leaders are playing down the demographic projections and defending the admissions plan, which emerged from the Academic Senate, a system-wide faculty group.
Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site