Interview with Toni Johnson-Chavis

Now, can you just give me a sense of your experience as a student, helping with selection at Stanford, and then at the affirmative action program out at UCal-Davis. What was your assessment of affirmative action? Good or bad?


Oh, I thought the affirmative action at UC Davis in those days was really very good. I thought that they did an excellent job on selecting students that were both qualified to deal with the rigorous medical curriculum. At the same time were very exacting in what- ah, selecting people that they thought would share later on a commitment to society. They were very exacting in paying attention to what making sure that the people had completed all the requirements, pre-med requirements, that they had fulfilled all the, the science requirements, that their SAT scores were reasonable. And even though sometimes the SAT scores might be somewhat lower, there was never anyone selected who had real, significantly, um, significant bad grades or had a real problem with the SAT. They also were really, really paid very close attention to previous commitments to organizations and community things, whether people had published certain things, what previous occupations they had done, where in fact they lived or what, what type of medicine they planned to go into. They were a l- there are a lot of questions that they asked. And again, they were very, very exacting. And I think they did a wonderful job on meeting the standards of what was going to be necessary to take care of the rigorous, ah, classes, assignments that were going to cor- we're talking about UC California which is very exacting in what their requirements were. And I think they did a good job.