seal  Purdue News

June 20, 2003

Purdue experts can comment
on affirmative action case

Experts in political science, African-American studies, education, business and engineering will be available to speak to the media both before and after the Supreme Court announces its decision regarding the University of Michigan affirmative action case.


Political Science

Judson Jeffries, a political science expert in the 1960s civil right movements and African-American politics, can talk about the affirmative action case. Jeffries is the author of "Virginia's Native Son," the story of the first black American to be elected a U.S. governor. He also authored "Huey P. Newton Radical Theorist."

CONTACT: (765) 494-7604,


William McLauchlan, a political science expert in constitutional law and civil rights and liberties, will be available to speak about the Supreme Court decision on the University of Michigan case. He will be available after June 23 for interviews. His research interests focus on the legal profession and judicial politics.

CONTACT: McLauchlan, (765) 494-4171,


Purdue political science professors Rosalee Clawson and Eric Waltenburg are conducting a study to learn what African-Americans think about the Supreme Court's affirmative action decision. Clawson is an expert in public opinion, and can talk about the reaction to the decision. Waltenburg, a court expert who studies Supreme Court legitimacy and organized interests litigation behavior, will be available for comment before June 23.

CONTACT: Clawson, (765) 494-7599,; Waltenburg, (765) 494-6309,


African-American Studies

Leonard Harris, professor of philosophy and member of the African-American Studies program at Purdue, can talk about the moral implications of the decision and the moral significance of affirmative action. Harris edited "Racism," "The Philosophy of Alain Locke: Harlem Renaissance and Beyond" and "Philosophy Born of Struggle: Anthology of Afro-American Philosophy from 1917."

CONTACT: Harris, (765) 496-3860 or (765) 532-4894,


Higher Education

Alysa Rollock, Purdue's vice president of human relations and a former law professor, can talk about the history of affirmative action. Rollock oversees the areas of the Women's Resource Office, Affirmative Action Office and the Diversity Resource Office. Rollock, a professor of management, also can speak about the implications of the court's decision.

CONTACT: Rollock, (765) 494-5830,


Judith Gappa, a professor of education administration, is an expert on equity issues in higher education. She has done extensive work focusing on affirmative action at universities and also studies minority recruitment and retention and campus racial climate. Gappa will be available to comment on the case before June 26 and after July 10. She can discuss affirmative action on campuses, as well as effects the decision could have on minority students at other universities.

CONTACT: Gappa, (765) 494-8121,



There have been more than 800 minority graduates from the Krannert School of Management's Business Opportunities Program since its inception in 1968.

"Leaders of the Krannert faculty saw a social need and moved to address it in a very creative way," said Richard A. Cosier, Krannert School dean and Leeds Professor of Management. "Minorities needed a stake in the American economy, and the way to do this was for our school to 'grow its own' MBAs."

The more than 800 graduates include 500 undergraduate management graduates and 300 MBAs. About half the grads have been women.

CONTACT: Cosier, (765) 494-4366,



Marion Blalock is director of Purdue's Minority Engineering Program. During her tenure, the minority engineering student population has grown from a total of 91 students in 1975 to more than 470 African-American, American Indian, Mexican-American and Puerto Rican students in recent years. During the same period, the university has graduated more than 1,000 minority engineers. During a leave of absence from Purdue in the early 90s, she was corporate affairs manager at the National Society of Black Engineers headquarters in Alexandria, Va. Information about Purdue's Minority Engineering Program is available online.

CONTACT: Blalock, (765) 494-3974,