, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 296-318
Date: 05 Sep 2008

The Effects of Proposition 209 on California: Higher Education, Public Employment, and Contracting

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Introduction

In 1996, Californians overwhelmingly approved Proposition 209 that prohibited all state agencies from using anyone’s race, ethnicity, or gender to discriminate against them or give them preference in university admissions, public employment, or competition for a state contract.

Those who opposed Proposition 209 predicted that ending racial or gender favoritism would result in sharp declines in black and Hispanic college enrollments, setbacks for women in public employment, reduced funds for cancer detection centers and domestic violence shelters, or other alarmingly negative effects.

This article compares such dire predictions with documentary evidence provided by the State Personnel Board, the Department of Finance, the University of California (UC), and California State University (CSU). It relies on data concerning admissions, retention, and graduation of undergraduates from the CSU system and the UC and reviews faculty hiring patterns within both systems. Other tables com ...