Anti-Affirmative Action Bill Torpedoed by University of Tennessee


The state’s public universities have fended off a law intended to keep them from showing preference toward women and minorities. They say admissions and hiring practices don’t need to be reworked.

College officials say they’re already precluded by federal rules from giving applicants a leg up on the basis of race or gender. However, they do have programs to recruit certain under-represented groups, like black males.

Sen. Jim Summerville of Dickson sponsored the bill and says he’s not surprised by the outcome.

“(University of Tennessee) sent in an army of lobbyists to kill it. They said they don’t practice preferences," Summerville said. "If they don’t, what was the big deal?”

Summerville’s legislation spawned hours of debate about affirmative action. The bill failed after three members of the Senate Education Committee – one Democrat and two Republicans – refused to vote. 

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