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Burning Down the House: Politics, Governance, and Affirmative Action at the University of California


reviewed by Douglas E. Mitchell — 2004

coverTitle: Burning Down the House: Politics, Governance, and Affirmative Action at the University of California
Author(s): Brian Pusser
Publisher: State University of New York Press, Albany
ISBN: 0791460576, Pages: 320, Year: 2004
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During the summer of 1995, affirmative action in matters of student admissions, faculty and staff hiring, and contracting for services became the most controversial issue in University of California policymaking since a notorious flare-up over faculty loyalty oaths in the 1950s.  Brian Pusser’s book documents in fascinating detail the emergence of this issue in July 1994, its rise to national prominence in 1995, its temporary resolution in the passage of UC Regents’ policies SP-1 and SP-2 in June of 1995, and its aftermath and reversal on May 16, 2001.  He provides a step-by-step account of the process by which Regent Ward Connerly and then California governor Pete Wilson secured a solid majority vote to reject all considerations of race and ethnicity in University hiring, contracting, and admissions decisions.  The richly documented account is accompanied by a broad examination of the meaning of these decisions from the perspectives of University history, theories of higher educational governance, and the changing landscape of national judicial and political orientations toward race... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 106 Number 12, 2004, p. 2378-2381
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11361, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 5:45:53 PM

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About the Author
  • Douglas Mitchell
    University of California, Riverside
    E-mail Author
    DOUGLAS E. MITCHELL is a professor of education at the University of California, Riverside. His forthcoming book is titled The New Foundations of Educational Administration, Policy and Politics: Science and Sensationalism to be published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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