Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard Sander  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Washington, DC


-- Website -- http://www2.law.ucla.edu/sander
-- Richard Sander on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=richard++sander


Illinois Connection

Sander moved to Chicago in 1978 and lived there for twelve years.

Biographical and Professional Information

Sander was born in Washington, DC and raised mostly in small towns in northwest Indiana. He moved to Chicago in 1978. In 1978-79, Sander served as a Vista volunteer at The Neighborhood Institute, a community organization on Chicago’s south side. He attended graduate school at Northwestern University from 1983 to 1988, earning degrees in law (J.D., 1988) and economics (M.A. 1985, Ph.D., 1990). During much of this period, Sander served on the board of the Rogers Park Tenants Committee, and worked on the election effort and subsequent transition team of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor. He is now a Professor of Law at UCLA.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It
ISBN: 0465029965

Basic Books. 2012


The debate over affirmative action has raged for over four decades, with little give on either side. Most agree that it began as noble effort to jump-start racial integration

many believe it devolved into a patently unfair system of quotas and concealment. Now, with the Supreme Court set to rule on a case that could sharply curtail the use of racial preferences in American universities, law professor Richard Sander and legal journalist Stuart Taylor offer a definitive account of what affirmative action has become, showing that while the objective is laudable, the effects have been anything but.

Sander and Taylor have long admired affirmative action's original goals, but after many years of studying racial preferences, they have reached a controversial but undeniable conclusion: that preferences hurt underrepresented minorities far more than they help them. At the heart of affirmative action's failure is a simple phenomenon called mismatch. Using dramatic new data and numerous interviews with affected former students and university officials of color, the authors show how racial preferences often put students in competition with far better-prepared classmates, dooming many to fall so far behind that they can never catch up. Mismatch largely explains why, even though black applicants are more likely to enter college than whites with similar backgrounds, they are far less likely to finish

why there are so few black and Hispanic professionals with science and engineering degrees and doctorates

why black law graduates fail bar exams at four times the rate of whites

and why universities accept relatively affluent minorities over working class and poor people of all races.

Sander and Taylor believe it is possible to achieve the goal of racial equality in higher education, but they argue that alternative policies—such as full public disclosure of all preferential admission policies, a focused commitment to improving socioeconomic diversity on campuses, outreach to minority communities, and a renewed focus on K-12 schooling —will go farther in achieving that goal than preferences, while also allowing applicants to make informed decisions. Bold, controversial, and deeply researched, Mismatch calls for a renewed examination of this most divisive of social programs—and for reforms that will help realize the ultimate goal of racial equality.


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