NEW YORK (Jul. 10)
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith expressed satisfaction today over responses received from the New York State Board of Regents and from Brooklyn College over policies that ADL considered as “potentially discriminatory.”
The ADL had asked the Board of Regents to clarify a policy statement that called for “affirmative action” in admitting students and appointing faculty from minority groups. Calling the Board’s statement “confusing,” the League asked for a reassurance that “affirmative action” would not be interpreted to mean “preferential treatment or the imposition of quota systems.”
Joseph W. McGovern, Chancellor of the Board, replied to Milton A. Seymour, chairman of the ADL’s New York Board, that the true objective of the Affirmative Action Program was to foster a commitment to equal opportunity and that the Regents’ policy “should not be interpreted to recommend or suggest preferential treatment or the imposition of quota systems.”
McGovern went on to say that “increasing body-count without regard to qualifications was never intended.” He added that “the limited number of potential minority faculty would make a quota system extremely impracticable in our time.”
In a parallel action, ADL protested a Brooklyn College data-gathering survey that included a question asking students to give their ethnic origin, religious preference and their parents’ religious preference. The League saw the questions as a serious beach of the First Amendment of the Constitution. Seymour queried John W. Kneller, president of Brooklyn College, who replied that “ethnic identification” questions would henceforth be dropped from the survey.