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Princeton University will stop offering a summer enrichment program for minority students because of concerns that it could be targeted in an affirmative action lawsuit. Administrators of the Woodrow Wilson School Junior Summer Institute made the decision last week after Princeton’s lawyers determined the program’s race-based admissions policy could not be defended in court. The decision was announced Thursday. The decision does not mean Princeton is against affirmative action, and the university has found no problems with its other programs, said Robert Durkee, the university’s vice president for communications. “This program is race exclusive in its admissions and most certainly could be challenged,” Durkee said. “We didn’t want to be in a position that put other programs at risk.” The university will go ahead with this year’s program because 30 students are already enrolled. School officials then will wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policy to see whether the program could continue if its admissions criteria were changed. The Ford Foundation and other private groups initially funded the seven-week program when it was started in 1985, but the foundation withdrew its support five years ago after becoming concerned about the program’s legal status. Since then, the university has funded the program, which encourages black and Hispanic undergraduates to pursue graduate work in public policy and international affairs. University officials said a group that opposes affirmative action had contacted them within the past year and raised questions about the program. They would not identify the group, but Roger Clegg of the Virginia-based Center for Equal Opportunity said his group and the American Civil Rights Institute had made inquiries. Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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