Thursday, May 15, 2003

Michael Reese (510) 987-9200


The Board of Regents of the University of California voted overwhelmingly today (May 15) to oppose a state ballot initiative that would prohibit the use of racial classification by local governments and public entities.

The board rarely takes positions on ballot initiatives. In the last 25 years, only nine ballot measures other than those for education facilities bond acts have come before the regents.

However, acting upon recommendations from UC President Richard C. Atkinson and the Academic Senate, the regents voted to oppose the initiative, originally known as the Racial Privacy Initiative, because of how it might limit the university's ability to conduct basic and policy-related research.

The vote to oppose the initiative was 15 to 3, with one abstention. Regents Ward Connerly, John G. Davies and Peter Preuss voted against the regents' resolution.

UC currently collects racial and ethnic data for numerous purposes, including the evaluation of the university's application, admission and enrollment practices and assessment of the effectiveness of its outreach programs. Such data is also used to evaluate faculty and staff employment and contracting policies and to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.

The ballot initiative, now known by the acronym CRECNO, was renamed by the Secretary of State's office to better reflect its terms: Classification by Race, Ethnicity, Color or National Origin. It is scheduled to come before the state's voters in March 2004.

A copy of the regents' agenda item is available at:

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