Affirmative Action in College Admissions: Where Do We Go From Here?


In June 2023 the Supreme Court will render a decision about two cases related to affirmative action in college admissions: The University of North Carolina and Harvard University. In order to understand the history of affirmative action, we will explore the origins of the idea, which were planted even earlier than the 1960’s civil rights movement. We will discuss the controversy over affirmative action, its benefits and effectiveness. We will then study the actual cases before the Supreme Court that will determine its future.

There will be a panel discussion during the last class, Thursday, May 18 with a group of professionals who have worked in education, and admissions who have experience in pursuing equity and inclusion.
  • Dr. Lelia DeAndrade, Deputy Secretary of State for Equity and Inclusion
  • Dr. Rachel Morales, Director of Admissions, USM
  • Dr. John Kelsey, Professor Emeritus, Bates College
  • (A panelist from Bowdoin College may also attend)
Panelists will talk about including race in admissions, how effective it has been in terms of diversity, achievement, and the development of leadership, among other issues. They will also talk about the implications for colleges if the Supreme Court bans affirmative action that includes race as a factor.


Suggested readings will be offered before the beginning of the first class.

About the Instructor

Susan Bowditch has been teaching for MSC since 2013. Her main focus has been on the history and issues related to African Americans: from the Atlantic slave trade, through slavery, racism, white privilege, reparations, and critical race theory, to name the focus of several courses.


Susan Bowditch



1:00-2:30 p.m.
4-week course begins April 27



Class meets at Morrell Meeting Room at Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick.