Gov. Cuomo demands NY colleges expand race-based admissions

DCNFNeetu Chandak, DCNF

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed state universities to uphold affirmative action policies, in an open letter Thursday.

Cuomo called on State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees Chair H. Carl McCall and City University of New York (CUNY) Board of Trustees Chair William C. Thompson Jr. to maintain diversity policies that promote race in admissions.

The letter came after President Donald Trump’s administration rejected affirmative action policies by rescinding several documents on Tuesday.

“The Trump administration’s move to rescind the guidelines on using race in college admissions is a blatant attempt to limit the participation of minorities in higher education,” Cuomo wrote. “It is part of a troubling trend by the President and his administration to alienate minorities and build walls to diversity and equal participation in society.”

Cuomo demanded each board of trustees chair to reexamine current diversity plans and outline new diversity expansion plans by August 15.

The letter touted New York’s university systems as “bastions of diversity and engines of social mobility,” with SUNY schools comprised of 45 percent minority students and CUNY schools made of 76 percent minority students.

“The Trump administration wants to take this country backwards, but in New York we are moving forward,” the letter concluded.

Asian-American Coalition for Education (AACE) suggested getting rid of the Obama-era guideline to the Trump administration to combat discrimination against Asian students. The Trump administration’s decision to limit affirmative action policies followed after nonprofit group Students for Fair Admissionssued Harvard University in 2014 for discriminating against Asian applicants.

“American colleges can no longer use unlawful racial quotas, racial stereotypes and higher standards to discriminate against our children,” said a press release by AACE on Wednesday.

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