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Oct 15, 2020

Just three weeks before the presidential election, hosts Jon Fansmith, Mushtaq Gunja, and Sarah Spreitzer discuss the surprising early voter turnout, higher ed’s response to the Trump administration’s executive order restricting diversity training and federal grants, and the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Yale for its consideration of race in admissions. Later they are joined by Phi Beta Kappa CEO Fred Lawrence to explore how Amy Coney Barrett’s inevitable confirmation as the next Supreme Court justice will affect colleges and universities on issues such as diversity in admissions policies and immigration.

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Here are some of the links and references from this week’s show:

From the Introduction:

dotEDU Episode 29: Preparing for the 2020 Election on Campus

Civic Engagement and Democracy: Special Focus on the 2020 Election

ACE, Higher Education Groups Ask White House to Withdraw Executive Order Restricting Diversity Training and Federal Grants

ACE, Yale Decry Department of Justice Lawsuit Claiming Yale Admissions Practices Violate Federal Civil Rights Law

College and University Presidents Respond to COVID-19: 2020 Fall Term Survey

From conversation with Fred Lawrence:

ACE amicus brief opposing the most recent challenge to diversity in admissions policies, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., v. Harvard


Each episode of dotEDU presents a deep dive into a major public policy issue impacting college campuses and students across the country. Hosts from ACE are joined by guest experts to lead you through thought-provoking conversations on topics such as campus free speech, diversity in admissions, college costs and affordability, and more. Find all episodes of the podcast at the dotEDU page.


Jon Fansmith is a director of government relations at ACE. He represents ACE and its members on matters related to the federal budget and appropriations process, with a particular focus on student aid.

Mushtaq Gunja serves as vice president and chief of staff at ACE, where he is in charge of strategic initiatives, communications, and membership.

Sarah Spreitzer is a director of government relations at ACE. She represents ACE and its members on matters related to research policy and funding, federal policy, international students, immigration, and legislative issues.