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Law professor Frank H. Wu to discuss affirmative action as part of Vassar's Common Ground Series. Monday, November 26, 2007

POUGHKEEPSIE — Dean of Wayne State University Law School Frank H. Wu will discuss "Dream of a Diverse Democracy: Affirmative Action and Higher Education," on Monday, November 26, at 5:30 pm, in the Villard Room of the College Center. The event, part of the Common Ground Affirmative Action Lecture Series at Vassar College, is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Wu will explain the current challenges facing advocates for affirmative action, given the most recent Supreme Court decisions and ballot measures. He will explore a new framework for bringing about racial progress and will argue that the national discussion should not be on whether affirmative actions programs should be abolished, amended, or constantly assessed to see how well they are working. "The question should be what do we do as institutions and as individuals to make good our vision of democracy, of promoting justice and equality?" Wu asks.


A widely published academic, Frank H. Wu authored Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White (2002) and co-authored Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment (2001). In 2004, he returned to his hometown of Detroit to serve as the ninth dean of Wayne State University Law School, following his time on the law faculty of Howard University since 1995. Wu has also been an adjunct professor at Columbia University, a visiting professor at University of Michigan, a teaching fellow at Stanford University, and taught over several short periods at Deep Springs College.

Aside from his academic accomplishments, Wu served briefly by appointment of the D.C. Court of Appeals on its Board of Professional Responsibility, which adjudicates attorney discipline matters, as well as two terms on board hearing committees. Wu previously joined the board of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund in 2004, and is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a member of the Committee of 100, a civic group founded by Yo-Yo Ma and I.M. Pei, among others, to promote Asian American political participation, as well as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

His writing has appeared on a professional basis in such periodicals as the Washington Post, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Chronicle of Higher Education, Legal Times, and Asian Week. He received a BA from the Johns Hopkins University and a JD from the University of Michigan.


Wu's visit is a part of Vassar's Common Ground lecture series, which seeks to explore issues of gender and racial equality. The conversations on social justice and affirmative action are a collaboration of the offices of the Dean of the Faculty and the Dean of the College as part of Vassar's ongoing effort to foster inclusiveness in its campus community.

This event is sponsored the Asian Studies Program, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office, Campus Life Office/ALANA Student Cultural Center, the Learning and Teaching Center, the Political Science Department, and the Sociology Department. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should call the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, November 14, 2007