From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
April 17, 1998
Contact: Rick Svataro, (512) 463-0113

Statement of Senator Rodney Ellis on Latest Hopwood Developments

"I am pleased Attorney General Morales has moved to preserve the University of Texas' right to appeal, and hope he will allow the university to pursue its interest in attracting a diverse student body.

"In my view, we have a strong case. The dramatic loss of diversity experienced on campuses across Texas following Hopwood, and in California as a result of Proposition 209, should be more than enough to help the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals see the light and reverse their decision."

"In 1996, Texas lawmakers expressed their deep concern about the effect the Hopwood decision would have on diversity on campus. Two years later, our worst fears have been confirmed. The 1997-1998 freshman class at the University of Texas at Austin saw African American admissions drop 28 percent. Of the 500 students enrolled at the UT Law School, only four are black and 25 are Hispanic. African American applications to UT Law School have dropped by more than 50 percent from last year. Overall, African American enrollment at all public law schools fell nearly 25 percent between 1996 and 1997, the first year Hopwood went into effect. Medical school enrollment for blacks fell nearly 40 percent. Hispanic enrollment at professional schools has dropped almost as precipitously. Clearly, the best and the brightest minority students are leaving Texas."