n March of 1997, a conference was held to explore issues related to Fairness,Access, Multiculturalism, and Equity (FAME) in higher education. This two-dayconference was co-sponsored by the Graduate Record Examinations Board and theXavier University of Louisiana.A primary goal of the FAME conference was to increase and document ourstore of knowledge about equity issues in higher education and assessment, asthey relate to racial and ethnic minority status, language and national background,gender, disabilities, and poverty. FAME conference speakers addressed assessmentissues, issues of institutional policy and practice, and psychological and educationalissues for individuals. As an additional outcome of the conference, we wished toidentify important areas where research is needed to help increase equity in highereducation and assessment.Our goals for the FAME report series reflect the conference goals, but encom-pass more than dissemination. Our hope is that the reports will highlight the mul-tiple perspectives that exist on important FAME issues, and raise hard questionsabout them.This monograph is the first in the series. In this first report, we have includedthree papers that set a diverse framework for understanding FAME issues in highereducation from the point of view of educational institutions, individual students,and assessment. Dr. Anne S. Pruitt’s keynote address provides a valuable historicalcontext and sketches out the present “landscape of graduate education” and whatwe need to know more about if we are to rise “to the challenge to educate thechildren of all the people.” We have also included Dr. Nancy Cole’s paper on themeaning of merit and opportunity in higher education. In this paper, she addressesthe dangerous and powerful myths surrounding standardized tests. Our third paperis from the “front lines:” Xavier University faculty who provide a concrete exampleof what educators and students can achieve — despite the odds — when there’s awill to do it.
Carol Anne Dwyer
Executive DirectorProgram & Education Policy ResearchEducational Testing Service