Owen on his blog and Charlie Sykes on the radio and in the blogosphere are critical of UW's "new" admissions policy.
They are right to be critical of the policy, but I don't know that, in the end of the day, it will differ all that much from the old one. The change seems to be entirely in response to the Supreme Court's 2003 decisions in Gratz and Grutter. In those cases, the Supreme Court continued the trend, started by Justice Powell, in his Bakke opinion that race can be a factor in college admissions, but not too much of a factor. So rigid quotas are out (that was Bakke) and a process that considers minorities separately or that provides so many points for minority status that it virtually guarantees admission to all minimally qualified minorites (that was Gratz. But Grutter reaffirmed that you could use race as a "plus" factor in an individualized consideration of each applicant.
While the stated intent is to ensure that the use of race is narrowly tailored to a compelling need, i.e., "diversity," I think that what this really ensures is that no one will know precisely what factor race does play in the admissions process. The end result is that universities use race as much as they want but make sure that they are not too obvious about it.
UW was apparently dropping out minorities and considering them separately where necessary. That's too transparent. They need to be opaque. That's what this is about. I am fairly sure that UW has been trying to get the "best" minority numbers that it could all along and that it will continue to do so. I am not sure you're going to see much change in who gets in and who does not.