University of Rochester

EVENT: Speaker Examines Issues Surrounding Supreme Court Case

April 9, 2003

Arthur Coleman, an attorney and former official with the U.S. Department of Education, will discuss "Diversity, Affirmative Action and the University of Michigan: Understanding the Reality Behind the Rhetoric" at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in Hubbell Auditorium in Hutchison Hall on the University of Rochester's River Campus.

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering a case challenging the University of Michigan's law school and undergraduate admissions policies, in which African-American, Native American, and Latino students are given extra consideration on a ranking system. Michigan contends that its policy is used to ensure a more diverse student body. The upcoming ruling will be the first ruling by the Supreme Court on affirmative action in 25 years.

Coleman is counsel at Nixon Peabody LLP in Washington, D.C., where his practice focuses on preventive law. He assists states, school districts, universities, and related associations structure programs that are consistent with federal and state legal requirements.

Coleman was deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights from June 1997 to January 2000. Before that, he spent four years as senior policy advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. During his tenure with the Department of Education, Coleman was responsible for the development of civil rights legal policy in education.

An author and speaker on such education and civil rights topics as student testing, social promotion, accommodating students with disabilities, diversity, and free speech on university campuses, Coleman received his Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law and has served as an adjunct professor at two law schools and at one graduate school of education.

His talk at the University of Rochester is sponsored by the College Diversity Roundtable and the Office of the Dean of the College and is free and open to the public. For more information, call (585) 275-0651.