NIU College of Law Dean Consulted by IL Attorney General Madigan


February 24, 2003


DeKalb - NIU College of Law Dean LeRoy Pernell recently was consulted by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan regarding her amicus curiae brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the University of Michigan's undergraduate and law school admissions policies.

The University of Michigan's undergraduate and law school admissions uses diversity, including race and ethnicity, as one of several factors in making admissions decisions. 

The inclusion of diversity as an admissions criterion is the basis of two lawsuits filed by white students against the University of Michigan, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger.  The Supreme Court has scheduled hearings for these cases In April.

Dean Pernell spoke from his perspective as a Dean of a state-funded law school that values diversity in all of its aspects: students, staff, administration, and faculty.  45% of the NIU College of Law faculty are people of color as is nearly one-third of the class of 2005.

"Everyone suffers when the education in our institutions of higher learning lacks the benefits that flow from the rich quality that diversity brings," Pernell said.  "This case, which at its heart is about affirmative action as a tool for providing a fair opportunity for all, will be the most important consideration of civil rights since Brown v. The Board of Education."

The State of Illinois joins several other states who have filed briefs in support of the University of Michigan, including Iowa, Minnesota, and New York.

For more information, contact:
Melody Mitchell
Director, Alumni Events & Public Relations