The University Record, November 2, 1998

William Bowen, co-author of Shape of the River, to speak here Nov. 12

By Joel Seguine
News and Information Services

William G. Bowen, former president of Princeton University and co-author of the new book The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions, will speak at 4 p.m. Nov. 12, in Room 1800, Chemistry Building. A reception will follow at 6 p.m. in the Vandenberg Room, Michigan League.

Written with former Harvard University President Derek Bok, the Chronicle of Higher Education has called The Shape of the River perhaps the most comprehensive look ever at how students have benefited both during and after college from the use of race as a factor in selective admissions. The book is based on an extensive study of 45,000 students who entered 28 selective colleges in fall 1976 or 1989. It shows that race-sensitive admissions policies have achieved institutional goals of providing promising careers for African American students and promoting positive interactions among races on campus.

Associate Provost Lester P. Monts says “The Shape of the River is a seminal work that provides compelling data regarding the value of diversity in higher education—for all students. Diversity is critical not only for students’ intellectual life on campus, but also in preparing them to assume leadership and service roles in society.”

Bowen’s talk is sponsored by Dialogues on Diversity, a Universitywide initiative that encourages all members of the University community—students, faculty, staff and alumni—to explore diversity in all its forms, find out what being part of a diverse community means, consider the perspectives of others and to let others know what they think. Its objective is to enrich campus discussion and facilitate honest dialogue concerning the broad range of topics relating to diversity.


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