Toward An Understanding of Percentage Plans in Higher Education:
Are They Effective Substitutes for Affirmative Action?

Statement of Chairperson Mary Frances Berry

The Commission has conducted poll votes over the years when a majority agreed to do so, and released the results if they were generated in advance of a monthly Commission meeting. The Commission decided by a vote of 6–2 that public discussion of percentage plans in higher education and inquiries concerning the Commission’s position had reached a level that an immediate analysis of the data generated in the states that have already adopted such plans would serve the public interest. It was especially important to examine the official information published by the states on their Web sites as public information. Whether one believes in the use of gender and race-conscious remedies such as affirmative action or not, it is important to understand the role percentage plans play in achieving higher education opportunity for all Americans. The Commission believes this analysis will help to inform the public debate.